All posts tagged: Nayib Bukele

El Salvador’s Bukele claims ‘record’ reelection win after gang crackdown

El Salvador’s Bukele claims ‘record’ reelection win after gang crackdown

Fireworks erupted in El Salvador’s capital Sunday as gang-busting President Nayib Bukele claimed to have won reelection with more than 85 percent of votes cast: “a record in the entire democratic history of the world.” Issued on: 05/02/2024 – 03:08 3 min Bukele, 42, polls as Latin America’s most popular leader, possibly the world, on the back of a war on gangs that has slashed homicide rates in the violence-weary country. “According to our numbers we have won the presidential election with more than 85 percent of votes,” he said on X, formerly Twitter, two hours after polls closed but before official results were announced. As fireworks went off in different parts of San Salvador, hundreds of people gathered on a central square cheering and blowing whistles in celebration. “We are more than happy with this victory: we will have Bukele for five more years,” Lorena Escobar, a 38-year-old nurse, told AFP. El Salvador’s fearsome gangs took some 120,000 civilian lives in three decades, according to the government, which says criminal groups controlled 80 percent …

El Salvador votes in presidential election that the ‘world’s coolest dictator’ has clear path to win

El Salvador votes in presidential election that the ‘world’s coolest dictator’ has clear path to win

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Salvadorans are headed out to vote Sunday in a presidential and legislative elections that’s largely about the tradeoff between security and democracy. With soaring approval ratings and virtually no competition, Nayib Bukele is almost certainly headed for a second term as president. El Salvador’s constitution prohibits reelection. Nonetheless, about eight out of 10 of voters support Bukele, according to a January poll from the University of Central America. That’s despite Bukele taking steps throughout his first term that lawyers and critics say chip away at the country’s system of checks and balances. But El Salvador’s traditional parties from the left and right that created the vacuum that Bukele first filled in 2019 remain a shambles. Alternating in power for some three decades, the conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) and leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) were thoroughly discredited by their own corruption and inefficacy. Their presidential candidates this year are polling in the low single digits. Bukele, the self-described “world’s coolest dictator,” has gained fame for his brutal …

El Salvador VP acknowledges mistakes in war on gangs but says country is ‘not a police state’

El Salvador VP acknowledges mistakes in war on gangs but says country is ‘not a police state’

SAN SALVADOR (AP) — El Salvador’s government “made mistakes” in its war against the country’s gangs, but has never undermined the country’s democracy to consolidate power, according to the man likely to be reelected vice president. Félix Ulloa, temporarily on leave as El Salvador’s vice president while he runs for reelection alongside Nayib Bukele, defended his government’s controversial crackdown in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, days before a presidential election they are expected to win easily. Such policies, he said, will continue until El Salvador’s gangs are defeated. Ulloa acknowledged that in their administration’s mass detention of citizens the government imprisoned thousands of people who had not committed any crime, something he said they are correcting, but justified the harsh actions as being widely popular and completely “legal.” Since declaring a state of emergency in March 2022 following a surge in gang violence, the government has detained 76,000 people — more than 1% of the population in the small Central American nation. The declaration, which suspended some fundamental rights like access to …