President Funes expresses concern about possible link between increased violence and electoral season
On January 16th, the President's Communication Secretary released the following statement. (Thanks to US-El Salvador Sister Cities for translation into English). President Mauricio Funes expressed concern about the recent reported increase in violence attributed to gang members because, according to intelligence reports, it could be related to the electoral situation in the country. "I worry that there is a relationship or there could be a relationship between this insistence on the part of ARENA that Salvadorans are tired of the crime wave sweeping the country, with the increase in homicides," said the president in his press release. The head of state signaled that the government has intelligence reports indicating that this violent situation is beneficial for the electoral purposes of the ARENA party, and that both the candidate for President and the Vice President from this party have made tackling crime the axis of its campaign without giving details of how they will accomplish these goals should they win. "God grant that there is no relationship and no provocation from ARENA party structures, which in the past have been characterized as promoting such acts of social violence," said the president, explaining that these reports are being analyzed. The president announced that if there is "any link between these acts of violence and the ARENA 's campaign, be sure that we will properly document and submit such information to the Attorney General 's Office for prosecution." He cautioned, however, that "for now, these investigations are only at an intelligence level," as happened in the 2012 campaign. President Funes also expressed concern about Norman Quijano´s proposal to militarize public safety. "That is worrying, I´m not sure to what he is referring to, it is a concept that has not yet been developed, but it is worrying because public safety cannot be militarized ," said the president, noting that this idea is contrary to constitutional provisions. President Funes thinks that Quijano is announcing "war and more war," forgetting that violence only begets more violence . He also said that using only increased persecution and police repression will not solve the gang problem, but that there also needs to be police intelligence and strong preventative measures such as combating inequality and other structural causes of this social problem that has plagued the country for years. Read the original here from Transparencia Activa.