Implementation of CAFTA Leads to Arrests of Street Vendors

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Four vendors from the Movement of Vendors of CDs and DVDs were released this Monday after being held for 3 days. The vendors were arrested last Thursday by the National Civilian Police while they were in a taxi cab, about 10 blocks away from one of their homes. However, at Monday's hearing the public attorney argued that they had been arrested while in the process of intellectual property rights violations and requested the judge rule they be held in prison for the duration of the investigation. The police reported that they had been arrested at the vendor's house, where burning equipment, DVDs and other equipment was found. The Vendors' Movement fears increased arrests in the coming months, since through this case they have found out that the San Salvador investigative unit for crimes against intellectual property is going to have offices in cities throughout the country. Meanwhile, this case - the eightieth since the informal sector was criminalized - will continue. Since CAFTA took effect, the Attorney General's office has been investigating and processing these cases in the interests of transnational corporations.

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