El Salvador’s bitcoin bond still suspended and country accused of violating human rights

El Salvador’s Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya has said the country will further delay the launch of its anticipated $1 billion Bitcoin (BTC) bond issue. citing price volatility and uncertain market conditions due to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

The message comes at the same time as Amnesty International accuses the Salvadoran authorities of “blatant human rights violations and the criminalization of people living in poverty”.

In an interview on Wednesday on local news show Frente a Frente, Zelaya was asked if the situation had changed with the issuance of bitcoin bonds. worth $1 billion from “a few months ago”.

El Salvador’s bitcoin bond still suspended and country accused of violating human rights
El Salvador’s bitcoin bond still suspended and country accused of violating human rights

“No, not yet, the price [de Bitcoin] is still shaken by the war in Ukraine,” he said after a rough translation. He added that “in the short term, fluctuations are constant, but in the long term, they always tend to increase in value:”

“There is a future and there is economic innovation [en Bitcoin] what to bet on.â€

The bond plan was originally announced by El Salvador President Nayib Bukele in November 2021. Half of the proposed $1 billion will fund the construction of a Bitcoin City, which will be built near a volcano, with the idea that its geothermal energy can be used for Bitcoin miners. The other half of the funds raised would be invested in Bitcoin.

The $1 billion bond was originally scheduled to launch in mid-March 2022, but in an interview in March, Zelaya delayed launch, citing price volatility.giving a possible release date around June but extending the calendar to September 2022.

Growing fears that the country could default on an $800 million bond maturing in January 2023 led Moody’s to downgrade El Salvador’s credit rating on March 4.

The El Salvador government has been buying Bitcoin since September 2021, with Bukele announcing that the country bought another 500 BTC on May 9. It is estimated that El Salvador has lost more than $35.6 million from its BTC investments so far.

Amnesty International: “Human Rights Crisis”

For its part, the non-profit organization for the defense of human rights Amnesty International accused the government of El Salvador of “gross human rights abuses” through arbitrary detention, ill-treatment and torture of detainees.

President Bukele declared a state of emergency on March 27 over a rising murder rate the government attributes to gangs and organized crime. Since then, the state of emergency has been extended twice.

This was announced by the human rights group The SOE has changed laws and court procedures that undermine the right to a defense, the presumption of innocence, an effective remedy and access to an independent judge.

During the raid, more than 35,000 people were detained in less than three months, and the surge in arrests has resulted in 1.7% of the country’s population being incarcerated over the age of 18, leading to more than 250% overcrowding in prisons led has capacity.

But, Despite the abuse, many Salvadorans agree with Bukele’s harsh measures as the president remains popular in opinion polls. The latest poll released by local media on Wednesday shows an approval rating of nearly 87% for the incumbent president.

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