El Salvador: scandal for imprisonment and torture of activists reaches the UN

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Civil society organizations from the United States, France, Uruguay and El Salvador delivered during the session of the United Nations Narcotics and Drugs Commission (CNA), a statement denouncing the human rights violations committed by the Salvadoran State against Daniel Alemán and Clay Pierce, representative cases of common practices of the Salvadoran authorities in the failed “War on Drugs”.

The document was delivered to the mission of El Salvador to the Head of the CNA and the mission of the United States.

Recent events have shocked international organizations. According to representatives of the Evangelical Protestant Church of El Salvador (IEPES), the Salvadoran authorities resorted to the criminalization of youth and the persecution of people who use drugs through abuses and torture. 

Specifically, the case of Salvadoran Daniel Alemán, 21 years old, who was “planted” with a pound of cannabis is mentioned, and later, was  accused of possession of drugs for trafficking purposes. According to the statement, the authorities of the National Civil Police beat him and tried to attack him twice. In addition, they filmed the torture and shared it on social media.

“On February 22, 2017, two hooded officers entered the penal center accusing him of the crime of aggravated extortion. Forcing him to sign documents that prevented him from reading. Even today the prison authorities prevent Daniel Alemán from visiting his defense lawyer. “

“Neither the General Prosecutor of the Republic nor the National Civil Police have confronted the alleged victim who would recognize Mr. Alemán as his extortionist and at the moment the accusation is based solely on testimonies from
police officers.”


Another case in the file has to do with the american Clay Pierce who was detained for possession of cannabis for a value of USD $ 43.00, despite having credentials that classify him as a patient of medical cannabis within the State Program from Oregon.


According to the statement, the authorities of the Anti-narcotics Division of the National Civil Police “lost” their documents and was detained for three weeks without access to defense. The organizations that delivered the acussation to the UN state say that there is a violation of the right to health from both access to their medicine and their food. Because of this, the american lost 26 pounds and contracted diseases that complicate his medical condition.

For Reverend Martin Diaz, IEPES leader and defender of human rights, the complaint to the Attorney for the Defense of Human Rights to date has not been answered.


“We hope that the international community will monitor the situation in the Northern Triangle of Central America and that they will reduce their cooperation with government agencies linked to corruption and organized crime. It is very important to make visible cases such as Daniel Aleman and Clay Pierce, since they are examples of the illegal practices of the Salvadoran State. Like the criminalization and persecution of youths, cannabis medicinal patients and people who use drugs, “he told MCN.


In addition to the problem of human rights that has been worsening in the area with more force in recent years, this type of method is used by the Salvadoran State to justify the recuersos it receives in terms of security through foreign collaboration to reduce drug trafficking. Even so, through El Salvador, about 80% of the cocaine that goes to the United States transits, according to data from that government.

Foto EDH: Jessica Orellana

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