JIQUILISCO, El Salvador
Community leaders in El Salvador are opposed to the government's plans to use U.S. aid funds to develop the country’s Pacific coastline, on the grounds that it would threaten the environment in a vast area.
Several brutal, high-profile murders of women in the last few weeks in El Salvador are just the latest reminder that this is one of the countries in the world with the highest number of femicides, the term used to describe the killing of women because they are female.
A report containing the testimonies of victims of torture during El Salvador’s 1980-1992 civil war will be published 27 years after it was written, to help Salvadorans today learn more about that chapter in the country’s history.
Boats were tying up at the jetty and there was a bustle of activity as vendors cried their wares, offering shellfish to potential buyers, while young people, sharp knives in hand, filleted sea bass and red snapper. Meanwhile, on the promenade, octogenarian musicians played old-style cumbias and boleros for restaurant patrons.
The combination of widespread disregard for traffic regulations and poor vehicle and road controls puts El Salvador among the countries of Latin America with the highest rates of traffic-related deaths.
After years of delays and obstacles, a law regulating the pharmaceutical market has come into effect in El Salvador, giving its people access to medicines at more reasonable prices, with discounts of over 50 percent for some drugs sold in high volumes, like diabetes medication.
For the first time in El Salvador, a community radio is broadcasting under its own licence. The struggle continues, however, for legislative change that will give these kinds of broadcasters more airspace.
A recent agreement between El Salvador and Germany, with the latter supporting two renewable energy projects that would increase installed capacity in the Central American country by 94.2 megawatts by 2013, points to a promising alliance for carbon-free energy.
Salvadoran youth gang leaders have accepted a proposal to declare 10 municipalities free of violence – a bold plan that has run up against the mistrust of vast segments of society with regard to the gangs and their aim of reinsertion in society.
Brenda Salazar has her sights set on two things: a good organic cacao harvest for the cooperative she belongs to in northern Nicaragua, and for the governments of Central America to heed the ideas of peasant farmers who have organised to fight climate change.
The parliaments of El Salvador and Guatemala are debating bills aimed at halting abusive loans and high credit card costs. But the initiatives have run up against strong opposition from the financial sector.
Armed with chainsaws, machetes and shovels, local residents of El Salvador’s Lower Lempa River Basin, near the Pacific Ocean, are unblocking the flow of rivers and pruning the branches of trees on riverbanks to keep them from falling into the chocolate-colored water.
For many undocumented child migrants from Central America, Mexico is the end of the road in their endeavour to reach the United States, driven by economic reasons, gang violence and domestic violence.
El Salvador’s Jiquilisco Bay, a tiny hidden corner of the Pacific Ocean, is becoming a haven for endangered sea turtles.
The two main youth gangs in El Salvador and the government have exchanged the main points they would like to discuss in talks aimed at bringing to an end to two decades of spiraling criminal violence. But the media, legislators and the public at large remain hostile to the possible start of negotiations.