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Bachelet condemns the dismissal of the Constitutional Court and warns of “serious damage” to the rule of law

US congressmen ask to withdraw the visas of the Salvadoran deputies involved

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has condemned the dismissal of the magistrates of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of El Salvador, as well as the attorney general, and has warned that this “undermines seriously “democracy and the rule of law in the country.

In a statement, he recalled that the separation of powers is “the cornerstone of any democracy” and has clarified that “weakening the control that one exercises over the other causes the erosion of the pillars of the rule of law and, therefore, of the democratic system of a country “.

The High Commissioner has emphasized that the international norms and standards of Human Rights stipulate that “judges can only be substituted in the event of serious misconduct or incompetence, in accordance with a fair procedure that ensures objectivity and impartiality established in the constitution or law “, in reference to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which El Salvador has ratified.

“The procedure followed to dismiss all the judges of the Constitutional Court of the Supreme Court and the attorney general did not comply with the required standards on due process, which is a violation of international human rights law and a direct attack on judicial independence, key to democratic functioning, “he denounced.

Likewise, she has stated that “judges and prosecutors must be protected from inappropriate interference and acts of intimidation.” “Unfortunately, what we see in El Salvador is the deepening of an alarming trend towards the concentration of powers,” she asserted before urging the authorities to “comply with their obligations to restore the rule of law and the separation of powers. “.

Several US congressmen have requested that the visas of the deputies and members of the National Civil Police who “orchestrated the events of Saturday night” be revoked, in which the dismissal of the magistrates of the Constitutional Chamber and the prosecutor was approved. General for considering it a “brutal blow to democracy in El Salvador.”

“On Saturday night, President Nayib Bukele inflicted a brutal blow on El Salvador’s democracy. The removal of the Constitutional court judges and the installation of political loyalists to replace them clearly did not meet the standard established in Salvadoran law. and directly undermined the spirit of the 1992 Peace Accords, “Congressmen Albio Sires and Gregory Meeks have warned in a joint letter.

Thus, they have asserted that the dismissal of the attorney general has also “seriously damaged the integrity and independence of the judiciary.” In addition, they have assured that Bukele “made the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary disappear overnight, which are the conditions on which a functional democracy depends.”

In this sense, they have insisted that the United States should “reevaluate assistance to Salvadoran judicial institutions because they must analyze whether the new officials will apply the law impartially or benefit the interests of Bukele and his allies.”

The congressmen have asked Bukele to “reverse the decision” and “restore constitutional order to pursue an inclusive and democratic government agenda in the interest of relations between the United States and El Salvador.”

The Salvadoran president, who had planned to participate this Wednesday in a forum on democracy in the city of Miami, in the United States, will not participate in it as a result of the criticism aroused by what happened in El Salvador.

Journalist Joshua Goodman has confirmed to the newspaper ‘La Prensa Gráfica’ Bukele’s withdrawal from the forum, in which the participation of presidents such as Carlos Alvarado, from Costa Rica, or Mario Abdo Benítez, from Paraguay, was also scheduled.

Carlos Sánchez Berzain, director of the Inter-American Institute for Democracy, organizer of the event, has confirmed that Bukele will not participate in the forum. “We hope to have him in a future event,” said Sánchez, who has not clarified, however, if the event has withdrawn his invitation to Bukele or if he himself has decided not to participate.

The forum is expected to also address other issues such as democracy and organized crime dictatorships, the possibility of dictatorships emerging in Latin America, and attacks on democracy in the region.

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