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A Salvadoran civil organization called for the unconstitutionality of three laws that “favor corruption”

File photo of the general view of the Supreme Court of Justice of El Salvador (CSJ) in San Salvador (El Salvador).  EFE/Rodrigo Sura/File
File photo of the general view of the Supreme Court of Justice of El Salvador (CSJ) in San Salvador (El Salvador). EFE/Rodrigo Sura/File

The Cristosal organization asked this Thursday the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) to declare unconstitutional three laws that “favor corruption” in El Salvador in infrastructure works promoted by the government of the president Nayib Bukele.

According to Cristosal, these three laws “favor corruption by eliminating the constitutional requirement to guarantee competition, free competition and transparency.” He added that he also “violate international treaties and empower the Executive branch with legislative functions”.

These are the Law of the Special Regime for the Simplification of Procedures and Administrative Acts Related to the Pacífico Train, the Law for the Construction, Administration, Operation and Maintenance of the Pacífico International Airport and the Special Law for the Construction of Prisons.

“The Legislative Assembly does not have the power to approve a state contracting system that absolutely dispenses with public bidding, as detailed in the Constitution,” Cristosal stressed in a statement.

He added that with these laws “the anti-corruption conventions ratified by El Salvador are not complied with, since there is no transparent process, governed by law, based on competition.”

“By failing to comply with the provisions of the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the Inter-American Convention against Corruption, it violates article 144 of the Constitution,” he said.

Other reasons that, in Cristosal’s opinion, make these laws unconstitutional is that they allow the Government to “adopt a public procurement system that absolutely dispenses with public bidding as a mechanism established by the constituent.”

Stock image.  A policeman stands in front of a house during a patrol in the Soyapango suburb after El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele announced the deployment of 10,000 security forces to the conflict zone, in Soyapango, El Salvador.  December 5, 2022. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas
Stock image. A policeman stands in front of a house during a patrol in the Soyapango suburb after El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele announced the deployment of 10,000 security forces to the conflict zone, in Soyapango, El Salvador. December 5, 2022. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas

On the other hand, some twenty civil organizations demanded this Thursday a “transparent” judicial process and to respect the human rights of 6 detained community leaders and former guerrillas.

Salvadoran authorities recently detained six people in the remote community of Santa Marta, in the Cabañas department (center), including members of the Association for Economic and Social Development (ADES), a non-governmental organization created in 1993.

“We demand that the judicial procedure against the members of Santa Marta and ADES be transparent and respect human rights, especially due to the serious doubts generated by the lack of judicial independence, institutions and the rule of law,” said representatives of the entities in a press conference given at a hotel in the capital.

They also demanded that “the process be outside the provisions of the state of emergency and that any procedure be carried out with the detainees released.”

El Salvador is currently under an exception regime that suspends constitutional guaranteess, such as the right to defense, and modifies the judicial deadlines.

The organizations also asked the Government to “cease the disqualification, stigmatization and persecution against the communities and their organizations.”

“We ask the International Community to be attentive to what is happening in the country and accompany the complaint of organizations whose sole purpose is to contribute to improving the quality of life and is integral to the Salvadoran population, especially the most vulnerable sectors. ”, they concluded.

With information from EFE

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