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CISPES Declares its Solidarity with the Salvadoran Political Prisoners
Thursday Jul 12th, 2007 4:43 PM
On July 2 the Salvadoran police violently attacked a peaceful protest against water privatization and arrested 14 people. President Saca was scheduled to announce water “decentralization” – the first step in the privatization process – in the town of Suchitoto.
The police attacked the protestors around the police station, on the roads, and even chased people into rural communities. Police pulled four movement leaders out of a vehicle kilometers away from the protest and arrested them. They attacked other protestors with rubber bullets and tear gas. In total the police arrested 14 people; another 25 people were injured with rubber bullets, 18 suffered serious effects of tear gas, 2 were hospitalized, and an undetermined number were beaten by police officers. For more information, see June 2 CISPES update.

Today people learned that those arrested will probably be charged under the new repressive legislation enacted in the fall to attack social movement organizing, either the anti-terrorism law or organized crime law or potentially both.

The social movement in El Salvador has organized a unified response to the police violence. Over 60 social movement organizations signed onto a powerful statement calling for the immediate release of those arrested and for the Salvadoran government to respect the constitution and therefore the freedom of speech and the right to protest (that statement is online here.) The social movement is calling on international solidarity to send letters and faxes demanding the release of the arrested protest participants and community leaders.

(For footage of the protest in Suchitoto, the arrests of CRIPDES leaders and the vigils outside the courthouse, click here)

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