El Salvador: repression escalates; national police director runs for prez

From the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), Feb. 1:

On January 7, employees of Radio Cadena Mi Gente, a progressive radio station based in San Salvador, received death threats via telephone calls made to the station. Despite the assurance of Rodrigo Ávila, then-Director of the National Civilian Police (PNC), that he had “all intentions” of investigating the threats, no investigation has yet moved forward. Ávila made a similar commitment last year in response to the murder of Radio Cadena Mi Gente employee Salvador Sánchez. However, Sánchez’s murder remains unresolved.

With the threats against Radio Cadena Mi Gente, the murder of Salvador Sánchez, and the recent assassination of Wilber Moises Funes –- mayor of the town of Alegria from the FMLN party – still unresolved, PNC Director Ávila resigned his position on January 25 in order to run for the presidency of El Salvador. Ávila is one of 18 candidates vying for the nomination of the right-wing ARENA party.

Despite frequently referencing his government’s work in “defense of liberty,” Antonio Saca, President of El Salvador and a radio station mogul himself, has yet to denounce the threats made against Radio Cadena Mi Gente. The radio station, which has only been on the air for a year, already enjoys broad support, having established itself as one of the few media outlets that is independent of the ruling ARENA party.

See our last posts on El Salvador and Central America.