President Nayib Bukele’s Ministry of Health issued Executive Decree No. 32 last month. The decree dealt with health protocols to guarantee the right to health of people during the reactivation of the economy. It was passed to improve the poor economic state of affairs and aimed at reopening the economy in five phases.
The Court held that the decree was unconstitutional as it violated the fundamental rights of citizens. It observed that matters relating to the rights of citizens was not under the purview of the executive. The Chamber said, “Since there is no legislative decree that limits the exercise of demonstrations to the right to freedom and other fundamental rights, the Minister of Health has interfered in the competence that corresponds to the Legislative Assembly.” Judge Aldo Cáder also said, “No governing body, under any circumstances [can] invade the competence of another body.”
The Court nonetheless allowed the decree to be in force until August 23. It called for concerted efforts from the legislature and executive while formulating legislation to ensure the welfare of people.
Bukele wrote on Twitter that “[i]n all the countries of the world, governments are ordering reopening, gradually, to control the pandemic. In El Salvador, today that is also unconstitutional.”