Bitcoin bond still pending, El Salvador accused of human rights abuses

Bitcoin bond still pending, El Salvador accused of human rights abuses

Salvadoran Finance Minister Alejandro Zelaya said the country will further delay the launch of the planned $ 1 billion Bitcoin (BTC) bond, due to price volatility and uncertain market conditions as a result of the ongoing Russian-Ukrainian war.

The news comes just as Amnesty International has accused the Salvadoran authorities of “gross violations of human rights and criminalization of people living in poverty”.

During an interview on June 1 with the local news program “Frente a Frente” (Mr.

“It simply came to our notice then [du bitcoin] the war in Ukraine is still turbulent, ”he replied in a rough translation. He also said “” in the short term, the variations are constant, but in the long run, it’s always always to be respected.

“There is a future and there is economic innovation [dans le bitcoin] what we have to bet on ”.

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele first announced the bond plan in November 2021. Half of the billions of dollars expected to fund the construction of Bitcoin City built near a volcano with the idea that bitcoin miners could harness its geothermal energy. The other half of the funds raised would be invested in bitcoin.

The billion-dollar bond was originally scheduled for launch in mid-March 2022, but in an interview in March, Mr. Zelaya delayed the launch citing price volatility, giving a possible launch date around June. with schedule extending to September 2022.

Due to growing fears that the country could default on an $ 800 million bond due in January 2023, rating agency Moody’s downgraded El Salvador’s credit rating on May 4 citing “a lack of credible funding.

The El Salvador government has been buying bitcoin since September 2021, and Bukele announced that the country has purchased an additional 500 BTC on May 9. El Salvador is estimated to have lost more than $ 35.6 million from its BTC investments to date.

Amnesty International: “Human Rights Crisis”

At the same time, Amnesty International, a non – profit human rights organization, accused the El Salvador government of committing “massive violations of human rights” through arbitrary arrests, abuse and torture of prisoners.

President Bukele declared a state of emergency on March 27 due to the escalation of the killings, which the government blamed on gangs and organized crime. The state of emergency has since expanded twice.

The human rights group said the state of emergency has changed laws and legal procedures that undermine the rights of defense, the presumption of innocence, an effective judicial remedy and access to an independent judge.

Read also: The role of Bitcoin in El Salvador: What does the current adoption downturn mean?

During the crackdown, more than 35,000 people were imprisoned in less than three months. The increase in the number of arrests resulted in the detention of 1.7% of the country’s population over the age of 18, resulting in overcrowding in excess of 250% of prison capacity.

However, despite the abuses, many Salvadorans endorse the tough measures by Mr. Bukele, which is still popular in the polls. The latest poll, released by local media on June 1, shows an approval rating of almost 87% for the current president.

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