The president of The Savior, Nayib Bukelelaunched a little over a year ago —on March 27, 2022— a “war” against gangs, questioned by human rights organizations and international governments for its cruelty. That government decision inspired a videogamewhich was officially presented on Friday night during the broadcast of the government El Salvador Newscast.
“Territorial Control Plan: Extraction” already had more than 10,000 downloads in its first week of life. “Be a part of history, the war against evil gangs has begun!”, expresses the game, which invites the participant to “join” the fight against criminal groups.
Youth New Ideasa group of young people who support Bukele, presented the video of the game on their Twitter account accompanied by the message: “This video game makes you the hero of El Salvador! In the Play Store we find ‘PCT: Extraction’, an action game in which you kill criminals and save the population. It’s available for Android.”
The video game, which can be installed for free on cell phones and was developed by Restless Games Studiois that the user can enter “in the shoes of a seasoned specialist soldier, an elite (effective) police element” and even in the “Commander General of the Armed Forces”, that is, in Bukele himself.
At the beginning of the game you can see Bukele animations with soldiers and militarywith assault weapons, and is facing blows and shots with the gang members.
“The truth is that it does not seem very appropriate to me. What it is about now is to overcome violence, not encourage it, and the video game in my view encourages it, ”he told the news agency. AFP Nestor Molinaemployee of a network maintenance company and a regular at online games.
For his part, Ricardo Acevedoanother fan of video games, told the same medium that, although it is a trial version, the game “has potential” because it is “amusing”.
So far, neither Bukele nor another member of the Executive have commented on the video game.
Extension of the exception regime
Last Wednesday, the legislative Assembly, with a large pro-government majority, extended the state of emergency for the thirteenth time for another 30 days. The measure, which has just over a year of implementation and was called by the government as a “war against gangs”, was approved with the votes of 66 members of the ruling party Nuevas Ideas (NI) and allied formations.
“The exception regime is legal and Constitutionalsaid the deputy Guillermo Gallegos, of the Great Alliance for National Unity (GANA), during the plenary session in which the measure was endorsed. In contrast, the deputy Claudia Ortizfrom the opposition Vamos party, said that during the emergency regime “innocent people have been captured”, for whom he asked for his release.
The exception regime suspends various constitutional rights and originally approved in late March 2022 after one escalation of murders attributed to gangs that claimed the lives of more than 80 people in three days.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) insisted on the Bukele government to restore the suspended rights and warned that the american convention (ACHR) authorizes the suspension of certain rights and freedoms in an exceptional way “to the extent and for the time strictly limited to the exigencies of the situation”.
And, although Article 27.1 of the ACHR allows States to resort to this measure “in case of war, public danger or other emergency that threatens the independence or security of the State Party”, rulers do not enjoy absolute power to establish restrictive measures.
In the same line, Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated that The Savior goes through an authoritarian debacle. “El Salvador’s authoritarian debacle would only be surpassed by a country with a military coup and by the Taliban”, he stated john pappieracting deputy director for the Americas of the NGO, who last month shared a thread of publications from the local media The lighthouse referring to Democracy Report 2023.
The document, of Varieties of Democracy Institute (V-Dem) of the University of Gothenburgpointed out that under the government of Nayib Bukele HE “intensified its repression against journalists and press freedom” and that together with Tunisia “they are no longer democracies”.
The report also places this Central American country in the group of “electoral autocracies”.
In October 2022, the political scientist and researcher Alvaro Artiga said in an interview with the news agency EFE that El Salvadoris on track” to “a situation similar to Nicaragua” with a “authoritarian court regime”.
On repeated occasions, the government of the USA said that his counterpart from El Salvador has the “responsibility” to guarantee the safety of the population, in addition to respect human rights and due process. “We recognize the challenge that El Salvador faces in curbing gang violence. Ensuring public safety is the responsibility of governments. They also have the responsibility to guarantee due process of law and to respect human rights,” emphasized the Department of State.
Bukele’s actions set off alarm bells from national and international organizations, which have indicated that the country is “advancing” towards authoritarianism.
The Parliament of El Salvador authorized a new extension of the exception regime imposed by Bukele
The IACHR called on El Salvador to restore the rights suspended under the exception regime imposed by Bukele
Side B of the war against the Bukele gangs in El Salvador: threats, abuses and fear of the authorities