The human rights defender community is regularly subjected to campaigns of defamation - they are labeled as 'traitors of the nation', 'terrorists' and 'subversive'. This tactic employed by the authorities is designed to discredit and undermine the work of human rights defenders by isolating and marginalising them, making them a vulnerable target for abuse. Community leaders and environmental activists who are opposed to large-scale mining projects face death threats and violence.
Abortion is criminalised in El Salvador and, unlike in many other countries where this is the case, the law is enforced. HRDs campaigning for the release of women imprisoned on suspicion of abortion have been subjected to threats and intimidation.
Among other human rights defenders who are particularly targeted are those campaigning on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people (LGBTI). The offices of several LGBTI organisations have been broken into and ransacked, and their members attacked, intimidated, and threatened. Complaints made by LGBTI rights defenders to the police are often ignored, according to LGBT organisation Entre Amigos.