International Organizations Express Solidarity with Lorena Peña
For immediate release
March 27, 2023
Media contact: [email protected] or (202) 521-2510 ext. 202
International organizations denounce case against Lorena Peña and express concern about failed judicial system in El Salvador
From the United States and other countries around the world, more than 65 human rights, Salvadoran diaspora, women's, and international solidarity organizations joined together to denounce the case against the former president of the Legislative Assembly, Lorena Peña.
The statement reflects a growing concern worldwide about the failed judicial system in El Salvador which no longer upholds the right of the Salvadoran people to due process, and its manipulation by the current administration that uses it as a weapon of intimidation against leaders and members of social and popular movements.
The organizations highlight the important role that Lorena Peña has played as a "lifelong feminist activist and leader of the leftist party of El Salvador" who has fought with "courage, honesty [and] unwavering commitment" alongside the Salvadoran people to build a more just society and to advance and defend women's rights. The statement also denounces the defamation she has endured for years "against her person and her character as a high-ranking woman in Salvadoran politics and because of her leadership on issues of social, economic and gender justice."
They likewise denounce the "long series of misogynistic attacks that characterize the politics of Nayib Bukele, his administration and his representatives who have routinely harassed, threatened and defamed women in the opposition, particularly leftist women affiliated with the FMLN and linked to the Salvadoran popular social movement."
They note that "despite the fact that [she] has already presented all the evidence necessary to absolve her of the unfounded accusations," the former president of the Legislative Assembly still faces a case in the Supreme Court of Justice, and threats that criminal charges could be brought against her on charges that are civil in nature. The organizations expressed concern that "the Salvadoran judicial system has become a weapon of persecution against the political opponents of President Bukele and [that] said Judicial Organ cannot be trusted to enforce the law, much less to guarantee due process or a fair trial to any citizen."
The organizations call on the judge presiding over the case and other members of El Salvador's judicial system not to allow themselves to be subjected to the Bukele government's political agenda but instead to abide by the law, and to respect and enforce constitutionally and internationally protected rights to due process.
Read the complete statement here: Solidarity with Lorena Pena in the Face of Misogynistic and Defamatory Attacks