Cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex and USDT issuer Tether have set up a cryptocurrency relief fund to help the families of people affected by gang-related violence in El Salvador, even as the country’s controversial government crackdown on gang crime continues to escalate.
Bitfinex CTO Paolo Ardoino announced that both companies will support the underprivileged and have donated $1 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) in an attempt to launch a fundraising initiative that will accept BTC as well as USDT on a range of blockchain protocols. .
The CTO added that the donated funds will be used in collaboration with local governments and community groups and will be subject to strict controls to ensure fair distribution.
El Salvador President Naib Bukele took the time to personally thank Bitfinex and Tether on Twitter.
Bitfinex has been partnering with the Salvadoran government since the end of last year, and iFinex, the parent company Tethers is working with El Salvadorian officials to create laws to regulate cryptocurrencies and securities in preparation for a (delayed) Bitcoin bond issuance.
One reason for the delay is almost certainly an outbreak of pandilla-related gang violence. In response to alleged threats to innocent civilian targets as a result of Bukeles’ crackdown on the pandillas, the President spoke of the starvation of imprisoned gang members, much to the displeasure of the international community.
Ardoino wrote that since 2021, many influential crypto people and companies have welcomed the heroic fight for financial freedom initiated by Bukele, but noted that the time has come to act.
Helping Families Affected by Pandilla [более важна, чем] buying planes and lambos. If you would like to get involved and support the proud people of El Salvador, please [отправьте криптографическую поддержку.]
United States politicians, including Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, are critical of Bukele’s reaction, but Bukele remains defiant.
The president said on Twitter that more than 10,000 gang members had been arrested in the past 17 days and lashed out at calls to the nation to respect the civil liberties of suspected gang members.
Bukele also welcomed the fact that official statistics show that the homicide rate has fallen sharply since he began the crackdown, with no homicides reported in five days this month.
In 2020, El Faro claimed that the Bukeles government brokered a deal with the infamous Mar Salvatrucha gang.
Bukele responded to the claims by posting numerous photographs of handcuffed inmates in cramped conditions, stripped to their underwear in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, in clear denial that such a deal took place. A number of human rights groups expressed disapproval of this extreme course of action.
Since then, media hostile to Bukele’s government have claimed that the deal fell through, leading to a surge in violence and a state of emergency being declared across the country.
Blinken himself called on El Salvador to ensure freedom of the press, peaceful assembly and expression, as well as due process and civil liberties.
But Bukele responded by saying that the gang members were terrorists, and Access countered that journalists were not free to use the freedom of the press to check whether Guantanamo detainees were enjoying their civil liberties and due process.
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