Salvadoran leader to file complaint against congress, courts

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — President Nayib Bukele is threatening to file a complaint with an international tribunal against El Salvador's other two branches of government in a fight over his harsh coronavirus confinement policies.

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Bukele wrote late Wednesday that he would take the issue to the Inter American Human Rights Commission, arguing that the country's courts and congress have “violated the right to health and life, by not allowing the government to take the necessary health measures to contain the spread of the virus.”

Earlier this month, a coronavirus state of emergency expired, and Bukele extended it via executive decree for 30 days. But the constitutional chamber of the Supreme Court ruled he couldn’t do that.

Then the Legislative Assembly, which does have the power to extend the state of emergency, but passed legislation that Bukele found unacceptable. The bill would have loosened some of his toughest measures, such as confining people caught violating the stay-at-home order to containment centers for 30 days.

At the time, Bukele heaped criticism on the high court and the congress via his Twitter account, accusing the court of ruling that COVID-19 could destroy El Salvador.