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Universal Periodic Review of El Salvador – U.S. Statement to the Human Rights Council
February 9, 2010

UN Human Rights Council

Consideration of UPR Reports
Report of the UPR Working Group on El Salvador

Statement by the Delegation of the United States of America
Delivered by John C. Mariz

February 9, 2010

Los Estados Unidos quisieron offrecerle una muy cordial bienvenida al [jefe de la delegación], y a la delegación Salvadorena al Grupo de Trabajo del EPU. Felicitamos al Salvador por su enfoque global en la preparación de su informe nacional, que hemos examinado cuidadosamente y ofrecemos el siguente commentario y recommendaciones.

The United States appreciates El Salvador’s recognition of the cultural, historic, and ethnic heritage of its indigenous people, and applauds El Salvador’s interest in taking actions to promote the economic, social, and cultural development of these populations. We recommend that El Salvador enact and enforce laws and implement programs specifically directed at combating discrimination and promoting the rights of indigenous persons.

The United States applauds El Salvador’s work in designing and implementing a new humane model for prison administration based on strengthening the social support base for detainees, and its decision to include civil society in finding solutions and alternative means for addressing problems at the nation’s penal institutions. Noting the serious problem of gang violence and corruption among prisons officials within El Salvador’s detention facilities, we recommend that El Salvador develop concrete plans, to address and control abuses perpetrated by gang inmates against other prisoners as well as corrupt practices of prison officials who have condoned and exacerbated violence and other dangerous conditions in the nation’s detention centers.

The United States applauds El Salvador’s outreach to disaffected youth through the creation of economic opportunities and social programs in poor communities. These efforts are vital for reducing youth recruitment into criminal street gangs, but will have minimal impact in reducing violent crime if El Salvador does not address the problem of criminal impunity. We recommend that El Salvador pass and implement reforms directed at facilitating credible and responsible criminal investigations that accord with respect for human rights, and eliminating judicial corruption as a means for ensuring that persons suspected of breaking the law are apprehended, tried, and sentenced in an efficient, accountable, and transparent manner.

Thank you.