El Salvador declares emergency due to gang violence

On President Nayib Bukele's request, lawmakers declared a state of emergency on Sunday, expanding police powers and restricting civil liberties as gang-related violence claimed dozens of lives in two days.

The small Central American nation has seen a new wave of gang violence, with 62 deaths on Saturday and 14 on Friday.

The security cabinet announced the capture of “more than 400 gang members” from Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio18, which are accused of unleashing a “wave of violence” in the country.

“We will not relent in our fight against gangs until the perpetrators of these crimes are apprehended and brought to justice,” the country's National Civil Police tweeted.

In response to the rise in violence, Bukele requested a one-month state of emergency from the ruling party's legislature.

Without a court order, correspondence, phone calls, and emails can be opened and intercepted.

It also limits the right to be informed of the arrest reason and access to a lawyer, and allows for administrative detention of over 72 hours.

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