In El Salvador, army surrounds town to root out gang
More than 2,000 soldiers and police surrounded and closed off a town in El Salvador Sunday in order to search for street gang members accused in a killing. The large-scale encirclement of the town of Comasagua is the latest example of heavy-handed tactics by the government to root out street gangs. President Nayib Bukele wrote in his Twitter account that members of the MS-13 gang were believed to still be inside Comasagua, about 20 miles (30 kms) southwest of the capital, San Salvador.news.yahoo.com
Bitcoin-boosting Salvadoran leader asks for patience
El Salvador’s Bitcoin-boosting president has asked people to be patient after the price of the cryptocurrency fell below $20,000 — less than half the price the government paid. According to the tracking site nayibtracker.com, El Salvador under President Nayib Bukele’s administration has spent about $105 million on Bitcoin, starting last September and paying an average of almost $46,000 per coin.news.yahoo.com
Salvadoran leader rebuffs Blinken effort to bolster summit
It was the sort of diplomatic rebuff a small country like El Salvador generally can rarely afford to make. In the run-up to this week's Summit of Americas in Los Angeles, senior U.S. officials frantically worked the phones seeking to boost attendance amid threats of a boycott from Mexico's president and other leftist leaders over the exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Among those efforts, the State Department sent a message that Secretary of State Antony Blinken wanted to speak with President Nayib Bukele last weekend, a rare show of comity from a Biden administration that for months had been blasting the Central American leader as a power-hungry populist.news.yahoo.com
El Salvador president's mass arrests 'punitive populism'
A day after the bloodletting -- 62 gang killings that convulsed El Salvador -- the crackdown began. President Nayib Bukele has responded to the surge in gang killings with mass arrests in poor neighborhoods like San Jose El Pino, each day posting the growing arrest total and photos of tattooed men. The highly publicized roundups are not the result of police investigations into the murders in late March, but propel a tough-on-crime narrative that critics are calling “punitive populism.”news.yahoo.com
Union: El Salvador police pressured to meet arrest cuotas
A police union in El Salvador says some National Civilian Police commanders have been pressuring officers to meet daily arrest quotas as part of the government’s crackdown on street gangs that have yielded more than 10,000 arrestswashingtonpost.com
El Salvador leader says he'll cut all food for gang inmates
El Salvador’s president threatened Tuesday to stop providing food for imprisoned members of street gangs following a wave of killings. Speaking at a graduation ceremony for new police officers and soldiers, President Nayib Bukele said that if the gangs “unleash a wave of crimes, we are going to cut off food in the prisons.” Previously, Bukele had ordered food for gang members held in Salvadoran prisons be reduced to two meals per day, seized inmates’ mattresses and posted a video of prisoners being frog-marched through corridors and down stairs.news.yahoo.com
El Salvador forces encircle neighborhoods in gang crackdown
El Salvador’s security forces have intensified their operations against the country’s street gangs with mass arrests, the cordoning off of entire neighborhoods and house-by-house searches under a state of emergency sought by President Nayib Bukele.
El Salvador forces encircle neighborhoods in gang crackdown
Security forces intensified operations against El Salvador’s street gangs Tuesday with mass arrests, the cordoning off of neighborhoods and house-by-house searches under a state of emergency that has raised concerns among some organizations it could open the door to human rights abuses. Rather than back down under growing criticism, President Nayib Bukele appeared ready to double down, announcing late Tuesday that he had asked the president of the Congress to convene lawmakers to give him more legal tools to take on gangs.news.yahoo.com
Rare leopard captured in northern Iraq
An endangered leopard captured in Iraq's mountainous north had its hind leg amputated following a trap-inflicted wound. The Persian leopard, taken in a day earlier in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region near the border with Turkey, had injured two people, said Colonel Jamal Saado, head of the environmental protection police in Dohuk province.news.yahoo.com
El Salvador frees three women convicted of abortions
President Nayib Bukele's government has freed three Salvadoran women who were sentenced to 30 years in prison under the nation's strict anti-abortion laws after suffering obstetric emergencies, according to abortion rights groups. Morena Herrera of the Citizen's Group for the Depenalization of Abortion said late Friday that the group was told one woman would be set free at presidential order, but when they went to the prison to greet her, three were released. The three are among at least 17 Salvadoran women activists consider unjustly convicted and imprisoned following obstetric emergencies and who have been at the center of a campaign against El Salvador's absolute law against abortions.news.yahoo.com
Colombia's forgotten Alcatraz: The island prison of Gorgona
Right up until 1984, the notorious former island prison of Gorgona off Colombia's Pacific coast was a tragic place where political prisoners and dangerous criminals were sent to serve out their sentences, sometimes until death. These days, only a few crumbling walls of the prison remain on an island that attracts a small amount of eco-tourism, mostly for scuba-diving or to explore its incredible biodiversity.news.yahoo.com
U.S. Treasury: El Salvador government negotiated with gangs
The government of El Salvador President Nayib Bukele secretly negotiated a truce with leaders of the country’s powerful street gangs, the U.S. Treasury announced Wednesday. The U.S government alleges Bukele's government bought the gangs' support with financial benefits and privileges for their imprisoned leaders including prostitutes and cell phones. Bukele vehemently denied the accusation when it was reported in August 2020 by the local news site El Faro.news.yahoo.com
Loved and decried, El Salvador's populist leader is defiant
In El Salvador, most are not bothered by President Nayib Bukele’s dictatorial maneuvers -- sending armed troops into congress to coerce a vote, or ousting independent judges from the country’s highest court, paving the way to control all branches of government.
El Salvador president wants Bitcoin as legal tender
El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has announced in a recorded message played at a Bitcoin conference in Miami that next week he will send proposed legislation to the country’s congress that would make the cryptocurrency legal tender in the Central American nation.
US urging Central America to tackle poverty, corruption
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is trying to entice Central American nations to tackle the corruption and poverty that have helped drive a surge of migrants to the U.S.-Mexico border and presented an early challenge for the Biden administration.
Mexico: Woman who died in police custody also was abused
Young women place flowers on the perimeter wall of the Quintana Roo state offices sprayed with graffiti that reads in Spanish "Justice for Victoria," during a protest in Mexico City, Monday, March. The demonstrators were protesting the police killing in Tulum, Quintana Roo state, of Salvadoran national Victoria Esperanza Salazar when a female police officer knelt on her back to cuff her. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)MEXICO CITY – A Salvadoran woman who died in police custody over the weekend in a Caribbean beach resort had also suffered abuse by her companion, who has been arrested, Mexican authorities said Tuesday. Quintana Roo state Gov. Salazar's death increased tensions in Quintana Roo, where police used live ammunition to ward off a throng of about 100 demonstrators in Cancun in November.
Outrage grows over police custody death in Mexico
Young women place flowers on the perimeter wall of the Quintana Roo state offices sprayed with graffiti that reads in Spanish "Justice for Victoria," during a protest in Mexico City, Monday, March. “She was brutally murdered by Tulum police officers in Quintana Roo, Mexico,” the president wrote. In the southern Mexico city of Tapachula, near the Guatemala border, Salazar requested and received refugee status. AdProtest marches were scheduled for later Monday in Tulum, Mexico City and San Salvador. AdThe woman’s death seemed likely to ignite tensions in Quintana Roo, where police used live ammunition to ward off a throng of about 100 demonstrators in Cancun in November.
Salvadoran president appears to win control of congress
President Nayib Bukele holds his ballots as he prepares to vote in local and legislative elections, at a polling station in San Salvador, El Salvador, Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. El Salvador went to the polls in legislative and mayoral elections that could break the congressional deadlock that has tied the hands of President Nayib Bukele. Exit polls suggested his party could win 53 of the 84 seats in the Legislative Assembly. “The story is not unique to El Salvador — Democratic elections have yielded antidemocratic leaders and governments, of the right and the left elsewhere in Latin America. AdThe tribunal noted that president is supposed to avoid using his office to influence elections.
El Salvador election could remake political landscape
FILE - In this Feb. 17, 2021 file photo, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele speaks before the start of vaccination of medical staff with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the Atlacatl Medical Unit of the Salvadoran Social Security Institute in San Salvador, El Salvador. That could change Sunday when Salvadorans go to the polls in local and legislative elections that observers and surveys suggest could remake the country’s political landscape. Anger with the parties that ruled El Salvador for nearly three decades swept Bukele into office in 2019, and frustration remains. “In El Salvador, there is selective justice, an unjust, circular, vicious system where only the wealthy are favored,” Pastor said. “The people have placed their hopes in President Bukele who has changed preconceptions and like it or not, has helped the people.”
The Latest: Hong Kong ease pandemic rules as cases decline
FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2020 file photo, people wearing masks attend a vigil for Chinese doctor Li Wenliang, in Hong Kong. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung, File)HONG KONG — Hong Kong is reducing social distancing rules following a sharp drop in new coronavirus cases, including restarting indoor dining and reopening gyms. More than two-thirds of the new cases were in Seoul area, home to half of South Korea’s 51 million people. The company has contracted to provide 100 million doses — enough for 100 million Americans — by the end of June. “We just need the vaccine to arrive.”___ATLANTA — Snowy and icy weather across much of the nation has “significantly” delayed shipments of COVID-19 vaccine to Georgia, state health officials said Wednesday.
Sources: Biden officials snub Salvadoran leader in DC trip
FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2020 file photo, El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele, accompanied by members of the armed forces, speaks to supporters outside Congress in San Salvador, El Salvador. The Biden administration turned down a meeting request with El Salvador's president on an unannounced trip to Washington on the first week of Feb. 2021. But like other world leaders befriended by Trump, he faces an uphill climb pivoting to the Biden administration, which is seeking to undo those policies and has signaled its relationship with El Salvador is under review. Bukele insisted that the trip was private and that he didn't request any meeting with Biden officials. Legislation passed last year and supported by Democrats curbs U.S. foreign aid to El Salvador to fund the purchase of U.S. military equipment.
El Salvador kept paying DC lobbyist after claim he was fired
In this image take from UNTV video, Nayib Armando Bukele, President of El Salvador, speaks in a pre-recorded video message during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at U.N. headquarters in New York. The tweet was widely shared in El Salvador. More recently, Stryk teamed up with another DC firm, Rational 360, which is run by veteran Democratic operatives including Joe Lockhart. El Salvador in October hired Rational 360 for $65,000 per month. Bukele’s government has also awarded a $780,000 contract to a newly formed U.S.-based entity called Invest El Salvador.