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July 6, 2022 6:59 am

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Puerto Rico Tribune: Salvadoran authorities are committing ‘massive’ human rights violations, with nearly 2% of the country detained, Amnesty alleges

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The content originally appeared on: CNN

(CNN)Salvadoran authorities have committed “massive” human rights violations, including thousands of arbitrary detentions and violations of due process, torture, and ill-treatment, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

The report, released Thursday, found that since late March, nearly 2% of the country has been detained, with at least 18 people having died in state custody.
On March 27, the country was placed under a state of emergency to tackle an uptick in homicides, driven by gangs Barrio 18 and MS-13. The country’s Legislative Assembly passed the measure at the request of President Nayib Bukele after an upsurge in violence left 62 dead in a single day. It has been extended twice.
More than 36,000 people have been detained since, according to a Tuesday statement from the Salvadoran government.
Salvadoran authorities are “committing widespread and flagrant violations of human rights and criminalizing people living in poverty,” on the “pretext of punishing gangs,” Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International said.
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“Instead of offering an effective response to the dramatic violence caused by gangs and the historic public security challenges facing the country, they are subjecting the Salvadoran people to a tragedy,” she added.
In what appeared to be a pre-emptive response to the report, which had been distributed to the media on embargo on Wednesday night, Bukele said “these organizations should also worry about the victims of gangs.”
“Hopefully, just as they care because we have captured criminals, they would care about our children, about our elderly, about our working people, about the innocent Salvadorans who have suffered at the hands of those same criminals,” he said during a speech before the Legislative Assembly.
According to Amnesty, at least 1,190 children have been detained and held in youth facilities, with many of them charged with being a member of an illegal group of terrorist organizations.
In one case, two cousins, aged 14 and 15, were detained in April while playing outside their house, just outside of San Salvador. Their families told Amnesty that police accused them of “looking like criminals,” and told their mothers that they would spend 30 years behind bars, according to the report. Since, the mothers have been unable to communicate with their children and are unclear about the trial that they will face — with a public defender assigned to the case “barely” arguing on behalf of their clients, Amnesty reported.
A protestor demonstrates against the policies of El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele in San Salvador on June 1.
The state of emergency suspends constitutional guarantees, including freedom of association, and an alleged offender’s right to state-sponsored legal defense in court. It also extends provisional detention from 72 hours to 15 days and allows authorities to intervene in telecommunications without needing a judge’s authorization.
Those in detention face tough circumstances, according to Amnesty, which has documented cases of torture and ill-treatment inside detention centers.
Amnesty detailed cases of such alleged abuse in their report.
In one instance, a 16-year-old, who was arrested in April and held for 13 days for being an alleged member of an illegal group, was chained to a wall of the detention center, where he said he was beaten by police. Later, he was transferred to youth detention center, where he was beaten by gang members, who he said also threw a bag of urine at his head, it said.
Many of the detainees are being held without due process “purely because the authorities view them as having been identified as criminals in the stigmatizing speeches of President Bukele’s government, because they have tattoos, are accused by a third party of having alleged links to a gang, are related to someone who belongs to a gang, have a previous criminal record of some kind, or simply because they live in an area under gang control, which are precisely the areas with high levels of marginalization and that have historically been abandoned by the state,” according to Amnesty.
Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele speaks in front of the Salvadoran Armed Forces in San Salvador last July.
El Salvador has a long history of organized crime groups fighting against security forces and among themselves to control territory and drug routes across Central America. The small Central American country — roughly the size of Massachusetts — led the world for the number of homicides related to the size of its population for several years in a row in the 2010s.
Bukele, the self-proclaimed “world’s coolest dictator,” took office in June 2019 with broad support, after promising to stand tough against gang violence, which has racked El Salvador for decades.
In February 2020, Bukele sent armed troops into Congress as he demanded that lawmakers approve his plan to secure a $109 million loan to tackle gang violence. In June, he pulled El Salvador out of an anti-corruption accord backed by the United States.
And last September, El Salvador’s highest court ruled the president can serve two consecutive terms in office, paving the way for Bukele to run for re-election in 2024.
Bukele’s hard line remains popular among voters however, who have lauded an overall decrease in violence to his presidency.

CNN’s Stefano Pozzebon contributed to this report.

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Sun West Proudly Supports The Autism Community in Action (TACA) Family Carnival  Business Wire

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“puerto rico business” – Google News: St. Croix Studio Must Arbitrate Hurricane Maria Damage Suit – Law360

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St. Croix Studio Must Arbitrate Hurricane Maria Damage Suit  Law360

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“latino” – Google News: Inclusivity among top concerns for Boulder County commissioner candidates – Boulder Daily Camera

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Inclusivity among top concerns for Boulder County commissioner candidates  Boulder Daily Camera

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Puerto Rico Tribune: Biden and Saudi crown prince planning to meet later this month

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The content originally appeared on: CNN
In a surprise announcement on Thursday, OPEC and allied oil-producing nations revealed that they plan to increase oil production by 200,000 barrels per day in July and August, leading to praise from the White House for Saudi Arabia’s role in “achieving consensus” and facilitating the boost.
While a small amount in the grand scheme of things, the move is being viewed by Biden administration officials as a significant breakthrough in the diplomatic relationship. One official described it as a “huge shift” after nearly a year of the Saudis flatly refusing US requests to increase production, even when oil prices were at record highs last year.
Biden separately announced on Thursday that a truce in Yemen had been extended, similarly heaping praise on the Saudis for demonstrating “courageous leadership by taking initiatives early on to endorse and implement terms of the UN-led truce.”
The timing of the announcements is deliberate, the official said, and is laying the groundwork for a likely meeting this month between Biden and bin Salman.
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As CNN has previously reported, because Saudi Arabia currently holds the presidency of the Gulf Cooperation Council, any engagement between Biden and the crown prince would likely coincide with a meeting of the council in Riyadh later this month. A separate White House official told CNN that a meeting is not yet finalized but that if the President “determines that it’s in the interests of the United States to engage with a foreign leader and that such an engagement can deliver results, then he’ll do so.”
A former senior intelligence official with knowledge of the planning told CNN that all sides are “still working” to finalize the meeting “but things are working out.”
“But any decisions on the trip will be determined in part with the security and logistics requirement that go with a presidential trip,” the former official added.
A meeting between American and Saudi leaders would have once been considered routine but now marks a significant shift due to the recent strain in the relationship. Biden has not engaged directly with bin Salman, considered the day-to-day ruler of Saudi Arabia, since taking office, opting instead to speak directly with the crown prince’s father, King Salman, the ailing 86-year old monarch.
Biden has been highly critical of the Saudis’ record on human rights, its war in Yemen and the role its government played in the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Asked about Biden’s comments in 2019 that Saudi Arabia should be a “pariah” on the world stage, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said earlier this week that “his words still stand.”
But the National Security Council’s Middle East coordinator, Brett McGurk, and the State Department’s senior adviser for global energy security, Amos Hochstein, have been working for months behind the scenes to repair the relationship, as part of a growing acknowledgment in the White House that a relationship with the crown prince will be necessary as the US works to isolate Russia and find alternative sources of oil and natural gas.
Another official told CNN on Thursday that the United States sees Saudi Arabia as an important “strategic partner” on a range of issues despite the country’s human rights record. But the official noted that the US continues to have “concerns” about Saudi Arabia’s “human rights record and past conduct, much of which predated our administration.”
Those concerns have been raised with Saudi Arabia, the official said, who added that “contacts and diplomacy” with the country have “intensified recently.”
Still, a meeting will likely spark some controversy at home for the President. Even before Biden’s trip is formally announced, it has drawn scrutiny from groups who accuse the Kingdom of grave human rights abuses.
In a letter to the President on Thursday, a group representing family members of those who died in the September 11, 2001, terror attacks urged Biden to raise Saudi Arabia’s role in the attack should he meet with the crown prince or other leaders in Riyadh.
“It is imperative that you prioritize accountability for 9/11 in any conversations between members of your administration and Saudi officials up to and including your own with the Crown Prince or any other members of the Saudi royal family,” the group wrote.
The Saudi government has denied any government involvement in the attacks. But the allegations of Saudi government complicity have long been the subject of dispute in Washington. Fifteen of the 19 al Qaeda terrorists who hijacked four US planes on September 11, 2001, were Saudi nationals.

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Puerto Rico News on Twitter and Google from Michael_Novakhov (34 sites): Google Alert – schatz: La chiocciola e la spirale | Doppiozero

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Eugenio Alberti Schatz, Anna Golubovskaja. 6. Milo De Angelis: il nuovo De Rerum Natura · Corrado Benigni. 7. Doppiozero: eccoci rinnovati.

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Puerto Rico News on Twitter and Google from Michael_Novakhov (34 sites): Google Alert – schatz: Another razor-thin margin of victory expected again as the World of Outlaws return to … – Yahoo News

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Donny Schatz, the 10-time WoO series champion, has won once in 23 races this season and sits sixth in season points. But Schatz has been the dominant …

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Puerto Rico News on Twitter and Google from Michael_Novakhov (34 sites): Google Alert – us venezuela: Strengthening Accountability and Justice for Serious Violations of International Law

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The United States will continue to be a strong supporter of meaningful accountability and justice for the victims of atrocities through appropriate …

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Puerto Rico News on Twitter and Google from Michael_Novakhov (34 sites): Google Alert – us venezuela: OPEC+ brings forward oil output rises as Biden’s Saudi visit looms – Reuters

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U.S. intelligence has accused Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, … if a nuclear deal is reached, and Venezuela, also under U.S. sanctions.

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Puerto Rico News on Twitter and Google from Michael_Novakhov (34 sites): Google Alert – schatz: Metamaterialien – scinexx.de

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Diamanten als Hightech-Material – Neue Anwendungen für uralte Edelsteine. Kristalle – Formenreicher Schatz der Natur.

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