SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — The Roman Catholic archbishop of San Salvador is praising a months-long state of emergency that has rounded of tens of thousands of suspects in a crackdown on gangs. While critics say the campaign has violated human rights and swept up apparently innocent people, Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas said Sunday that Salvadorans supported the measure. Since March, the country’s congress has granted extension after extension to the original 30-day emergency decree that suspends some constitutional rights. Escobar Alas says that “people are afraid of returning to the way it was before, now that they have begun to live without this scourge.” El Salvador’s gangs have long controlled swaths of territory and extorted and killed with impunity.
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