In the Face of Repression, LGBTI+ Salvadorans Respond with Pride and Strong Resistance
To the sound of the chant "There is no pride without struggle", Salvadoran LGBTI+ activists who participated in the Pride 2022 march, called on the community to express themselves "against all systems of oppression under a political regime that threatens our rights" and to unite, today more than ever for justice, equality and liberation for all.
Around 20 thousand people joined this commemoration of the vindication of LGBTI+ rights and demanded the approval of a Gender Identity Law that allows trans people the recognition and full enjoyment of their rights.
Likewise, many of the attendees carried signs with messages denouncing hate crimes and the violations of rights suffered by the LGBTI+ community in the country due to their sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, which have been exacerbated by the increase of authoritarianism and the deterioration of democracy in the country.
According to the Anti-Fascist Sexual Dissidence Bloc (Bloque de la Disidencia Sexual Antifascista) in the first six months of 2021, the latest available data, the Attorney General's Office received 132 reports of acts of violence against LGBTI+ people, including five murders. A member of the bloc, Gonzalo Montaño, denounced in a press conference that "within the context of the State of Exception we have had cases of LGBTI people who have been arbitrarily detained, cases of physical and psychological violence against LGBTI people" due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.
González explained that although there is a gender unit in the National Civil Police, currently "there is a hateful discourse coming from government institutions and the president himself has publicly stated to be against diverse families and same sex marriage", in addition to other setbacks promoted by the government, as the Legislative Assembly shuttered and sent to archive the draft bill of the Gender Identity Law.
Other LGBTI+ rights organizations also claim that the change of government in El Salvador brought with it an end to human rights policies, undermining the work in favor of trans people promoted by rights groups and organizations in coordination with the leftist governments of the FMLN.
In this regard, the 2019-2020 regional report of the Lactrans Network explains that "the new administration [of Nayib Bukele] closes the Secretariat of Social Inclusion and with it the Directorate of Sexual Diversity ceases to exist (...) also ending the monitoring that was carried out to ensure that public entities respected the rules such as those of Executive Decree 56, which required non-discrimination based on sexual orientation, identity and gender expression".
Among the main demands of the Salvadoran LGBTI+ community is also the creation of decent jobs and lives free of stigma, discrimination and violence, equal social security for same-sex couples and a strong and inclusive pension system.