Salvadoran activist says government shut up against hate crimes for fear of homophobes


SAN SALVADOR (Sputnik) – The silence of the Government of El Salvador in the face of recent hate crimes against the LGTBI community (lesbians, gays, trans, bisexuals and intersex) suggests an alleged fear of attack by homophobic sectors, the lawyer told Sputnik and activist Bessy Rios.

"It is outrageous that such crimes happen in absolute silence and there are even those who justify them: it seems that from the institutions there is a fear of being attacked by homophobic sectors of society," said Sputnik Rios, editor of the 2015 reforms to the Criminal Code to aggravate convictions for hate crimes.

Four trans women were killed last month, and their bodies abandoned with signs of cruelty, with no progress so far in the investigations to find those responsible.

The increase in hate speech, intolerance and murder in El Salvador was corroborated by the special rapporteur on the rights of LGTBI people in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Flavia Piovesan, who investigates the situation of such guarantees. in this Central American nation.

A delegation of the IACHR, which makes its first visit to El Salvador in 32 years, found in its meetings with social and citizen organizations multiple violations of human rights that persist 27 years after the signing of the Peace Agreements that ended the armed conflict (1980-1992).

Rios lamented that the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic and the Office of the Procurator for the Defense of Human Rights remain silent regarding crimes against a specific sector of society, or that only "lukewarm communications" come out from the Government.

"Where are those who came to govern for all?" Rios questioned, in reference to the speech that the current president Nayib Bukele held during his election campaign, who dissolved as soon as he assumed the position of the Secretariat of Social Inclusion, which met the demands of the LGTBI community.

The activist also criticized the null use of the reforms to the Criminal Code, which stipulate sentences of between 30 and 50 years in prison against those who commit homicide or threats motivated by hatred or intolerance to gender expression or sexual orientation.

He also denied those who accuse LGTBI rights defenders of wanting "special treatment."

"In November several trans women were murdered with barbarism and nobody seemed to care, but if they had kidnapped, tortured and murdered a famous heterosexual, they would all have come out to pronounce themselves and demand justice," said Rios.

Data from the Salvadoran Federation of LGTBI people indicate that in the last three years at least 20 murders of transgender women between 16 and 32 years were committed, and at least 151 cases of forced displacement of people due to their sexual orientation or identity were recorded. gender.

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