SAN SALVADOR – Hundreds of police officers marched across El Salvador’s capital, protesting against threats by commanders and Justice and Public Safety Ministry officials, as well as what they described as “political persecution.”
“High-ranking officials are suppressing police officers’ struggle for their rights,” the uniformed officers, members of the Police Workers Movement, said in a statement.
“The police commanders who are repressing National Civilian Police workers receive double the salary, enjoy big privileges and have no morality, honesty or decency, since many of them have been involved with gangs and drug traffickers,” the Police Workers Movement said.
The protesters did not provide details about the alleged threats made by superiors, but they did say that they sought to “secure a decent salary” and called on “the Salvadoran people and the political class to join in the effort.”
Demonstrators marched Monday along Juan Pablo II avenue in San Salvador toward the Legislative Assembly, but they were stopped a few blocks away from the building by other police officers.
Rodrigo Avila, a lawmaker from the conservative ARENA party, approached the protesters and spoke with them.
So far this year, activist police officers have staged at least three demonstrations to demand pay raises, bonuses and improvements in working conditions.
The average compensation for police officers in El Salvador, one of the world’s most violent countries with 6,000 murders in 2015, is roughly $400 per month.
The Police Workers Movement is calling for salaries to be increased to $1,000 a month.