A leader who wages an all-out war against gangs. A population that feels relieved by the reduction in violence and appreciates the strong hand. And centrally, more than 75,000 arrests, many of them arbitrary, cases of ill-treatment, torture, disappearances and deaths. El Salvador President Nayib Bukele will seek re-election this Sunday, bypassing a constitutional prohibition and consolidating his popularity while the country is under emergency rule through March 2022. This is a severe blow to the gangs that sacrifice rights in exchange of security.
Miguel Montenegro heads El Salvador’s Human Rights Commission, one of the organizations that has put a magnifying glass on abuses committed under the controversial measure that suspends constitutional guarantees. “Bukele is well aware that he has no rivals in the opposition,” he said in an interview with elDiario.es. “But it will not be able to sustain the emergency rule,” added the activist, who has visited Spain several times, the last time last October with the support of the Oscar Romero committees of the Spanish state.