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Jul 12 2007
Supplied or written by Maj Fiil

For Spanish – see below - para el español - vea abajo

At a protest against water privatization in Suchitoto, El Salvador, on July 2 more than 25 people were injured by rubber bullets, 18 were severely affected by tear gas, and 14 people were detained and accused of public disorder and illicit association. 

Those being detained are living in overcrowded conditions with very poor hygiene, and do not have any privacy. Both men and women are only allowed to go to the restroom twice per day, once at 5am and again at 5 pm. Several of the detainees are suffering from injuries suffered during their arrest.

The detainees are being charged under the new terrorism law.

Please read the letter below and send your endorsement to Maj at mfiil@fwwatch.org by July 20th.

Thank you – Maj
Food & Water Watch
 
 
President Elías Antonio Saca,
 
We, the undersigned, are writing to vigorously protest against the violent repression against the peaceful protests by the people of Suchitoto, El Salvador. We call upon you to order the police to stop all aggressive action against the citizens of El Salvador, to release all detainees – including Marta Lorena Araujo, Rosa María Centeno, María Haydee Chicas, Manuel Antonio Rodríguez. We trust you will uphold the citizen’s of El Salvador’s constitutional right to protest.
We are in particularly concerned with the reports that the detainees are being charged under the new anti-terrorist law - Ley Especial Contra Actos de Terrorismo. The detainees shouldn't be charged under this law - or any law. Their right to protest is protected by the El Salvadoran constitution.
These protests were in response to your new national policy to decentralize and effectively privatize water services in El Salvador. Around the world people are rising up against such policies which serve the interests of corporate greed and profit above those of citizens. Such initiatives have shown to fail whether implemented in the United States or Argentina. We strongly urge you to reverse this ill-considered and dangerous initiative. If allowed to move forward the people of your country will suffer and their right to water will be violated to serve corporate profit.
 
We support the continued provision of water by the National Water Company, ANDA and call upon you to respect the human right to water. El Salvador must abide by its international obligations under the UN Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the UN Covenant on Political and Civil Rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention Against All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, among others.
 
President Saca, we call upon you to uphold the constitutional rights of your citizens to protest these unjust policies and respect the human rights obligations of your country, anything less would be an abrogation of your responsibilities.
 
We represent organizations and social movements from all over the world and we stand in solidarity with the people of El Salvador.
Finally, we want to urge you to enter into a dialogue with those who are trying to defend El Salvador’s water, particularly the new coalition called Defensores del Derecho al Agua.
 
Signed,
 
Wenonah Hauter            Food & Water Watch                        United States
Anil Naidoo            Blue Planet Project             Canada
 
Presidente Elías Antonio Saca,
El Salvador
Nosotros, los firmantes de esta carta, le escribimos para protestar enérgicamente contra la violenta represión ejercida  a los ciudadanos salvadoreños que se encontraban realizando protestas pacificas en Suchitoto, El Salvador. Hacemos un llamado a que la policía detenga esta acción agresiva contra los ciudadanos, libere a los detenidos –incluyendo a  Marta Lorena Araujo, Rosa María Centeno, María Haydee Chicas, Manuel Antonio Rodríguez.
 
Nos encontramos particularmente preocupados porque los detenidos han sido acusados bajo la Ley Especial Contra Actos de Terrorismo. Los detenidos no deberían ser juzgados bajo esta o ninguna otra ley. Su derecho a protestar esta protegido por la constitución salvadoreña. Confiamos en que usted devuelva el derecho constitucional de protestar a los ciudadanos de su país.
Las protestas se realizaron en respuesta a su  nueva política descentralizadora que efectiviza la privatización de los servicios de agua en El Salvador. Alrededor del mundo la gente esta organizándose en contra de tales políticas que sirven a los intereses codiciosos de las corporaciones por sobre el bienestar de los ciudadanos. Estas iniciativas han demostrado ser un fracaso al ser implementadas en países como Estados Unidos y la Argentina. Le pedimos que reconsidere la implementación de esta iniciativa. Si ellas se llevan a cabo, la gente de su país sufrirá las consecuencias y el derecho al agua será violado para servir a las corporaciones. 
Apoyamos la continuación de  la provisión de agua a través de La Compañía Nacional del Agua, ANDA, y hacemos un llamado a respetar el derecho humano al agua. El Salvador debe cumplir con sus obligaciones internacionales que se encuentran bajo el Pacto Internacional de Derechos Económicos, Sociales y Culturales de  de la O.N.U., la Convención Sobre los Derechos del Niño, y  la Declaración sobre la eliminación de la discriminación contra la mujer, entre otras regulaciones.
Presidente Saca, le hacemos un llamado a respetar los derechos constitucionales de los ciudadanos a protestar contra esta injustas políticas y respetar los derechos humanos y obligaciones que tiene su país, hacer lo contrario seria una abrogación de sus responsabilidades.Nosotros representamos a las organizaciones y movimientos sociales de todo el mundo y nos manifestamos en solidaridad con el pueblo salvadoreño. Finalmente, le exhortamos a entrar en dialogo con quienes están tratando de defender el agua en El Salvador, especialmente con  la nueva coalición llamada Defensores del Derecho al Agua.  
Wenonah Hauter            Food & Water Watch                        United States
Anil Naidoo            Blue Planet Project             Canada
 


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