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El Salvador Legislative Assembly removes Attorney General Raúl Melara, provokes protests at home and international condemnation

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San Salvado, Hotel Crowne, 2 de marzo 2021 La Fiscalia General de la Republica dió una conferencia de prensa donde expuso que se capturaron a 8 personas y hubo atraso en la apertura de numerosos centros de votación. Tambien se comentó del hallazgo de papeletas en basureros que ya se estan investigando. Foto EDH/ Francisco Rubio

Posted: Monday, May 3, 2021. 2:22 pm CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly voted 64 to 7 to remove the Attorney General Raúl Melara late Saturday night after removing all five magistrates of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court earlier provoking protests at home and international condemnation.

Eleven representatives abstained from voting while two were absent.

The Legislative Assembly removed Melara after representative Jorge Castro of the governing party New Ideas presented a motion based on Melara’s affiliation with an opposition political party.

The move had been described as a coup by El Salvador’s opposition parties and civil organizations.

The motion was passed minutes after the Assembly had sworn in the new judges who replaced the five Constitutional magistrates who had been removed on Friday.

Reports from El Salvador said the new head of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, Rodolfo Delgado was sworn in early on Sunday.

Elsalvador.com reported that minutes before the Attorney General was dismissed the National Police took the offices of the Supreme Court saying they had orders not to allow entry to the removed magistrates.

The judges themselves responded saying their dismissal was unconstitutional.

The removal of the attorney general and judges has caused protest in El Salvador and international repudiation.

Amnesty International said “human rights in El Salvador are in danger.”

Human Right Watch as well as US Congress members had condemned the government’s move.

Reuters said U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed “grave concern” over the removal while US Vice President Kamala Harris tweeted that the United States had “deep concerns about El Salvador’s democracy, in light of the National Assembly’s vote to remove constitutional court judges.”

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