El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly recently extended its state of exception, first approved in April 2022, for an additional 30 days. The extension became effective December 18.
Under El Salvador’s Constitution, states of exception may be used to respond to extreme circumstances, including war or serious disturbances of public order. Under a state of exception, the following rights and liberties are suspended: freedom of movement, expression, association, and inviolability of communications. In addition, the Legislative Assembly may suspend other rights related to the right to defense and deprivation of liberty.
Currently, the suspended constitutional guarantees are:
- Right to be informed of the reasons for detention, prohibition to compel a person to testify, and right to defense (Art. 12 clause 2).
- Maximum duration of administrative detention (Art. 13 clause 2).
- Inviolability of correspondence and telecommunications (Art. 24).
Measures undertaken during the current state of exception include:
- According to official numbers, over 60,000 people have been detained, including more than 1,600 children.
- Phase 5 of the Territorial Control Plan, the so-called “extraction of gang members” phase, includes the deployment of 1,500 police agents and 8,500 soldiers to patrol Soyapango, one of the municipalities under military siege.