Report: 1,176 attacks on human rights Advocates between 2020 and 2022 in El Salvador

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By LatAm Reports Editor

Recent study reveals violations over the past three years Most of the victims were journalists.

The Salvadoran Network of Human Rights Defenders released its three-year report on the violations received in the period from 2020 to 2022 in which they accounted for a total of 1,176 attacks. Most, 38 per cent, were given to journalists.

The study indicates that the largest number of such attacks were recorded in 2021, with a total of 898; followed by 2022, with 142. A total of 125 defenders were affected in that period; in terms of the organizations, 35 were affected by different attacks.

With regard to the rights violated, the report notes that the right to personal integrity had 235 complaints, followed by the right to freedom of person and security (243), the right to association and expression (173) and the right to equality and non-discrimination (63).

Alejandra Burgos, a member of the Network of Defenders, mentioned that the violations have not disappeared, but that the trend is increasing and stressed that 38 percent of the victims have a job as a journalist, communicator or digital activist, followed by 9 percent who have a work of social or community movement.

“We are counting 1,176 assaults in three years and these have happened against 35 organizations. In each case there may be several assaults against the same person or organization. These organizations have faced different types of aggression and are escalating. That’s the usefulness of this record, about how we can take care of ourselves and learn from this,” Burgos said.

“We wanted to make known this series of patterns that we’ve been identifying. This hasn’t changed. In the last 11 years we have registered attacks against women defenders, far from reducing the impact of gender-based violence, we noticed an increase. We see that this practice of misogynistic discourse by public officials has deepened, as the main perpetrators are state actors,” he added.

The report of the Network of Defenders is in addition to complaints from different civil and human rights organizations about the violation in the context of the emergency regime and also towards journalists.

For example, the Association of Journalists of El Salvador (APES) reported that up to the third quarter of 2023 they documented 222 cases and 385 attacks on journalists during the emergency regime and 17 mobilizations (displacements), of which 5 are permanent.

“We are in a context where the digital space is used to carry out these aggressions,” Burgos added.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in La Prensa Grafica