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President Nayib Bukele Sparks Controversy in El Salvador

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President Nayib Bukele's actions and policies continue to divide opinions.

description: a photo of a crowded street in san salvador, with people going about their daily lives.

Last week, El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele posted a typically divisive video on Twitter. To the sound of thrilling fast-paced music, the video showed Bukele and his allies taking control of the country's Congress in February 2020, before cutting to clips of his opponents criticizing the move. The video ends with the words: "We took the power. We will never give it back".

Bukele, who took office in 2019, has been a controversial figure in El Salvador from the start. He came to power promising to end the country's endemic gang violence and corruption and won a landslide victory, but his actions and policies continue to divide opinions.

To his many critics, Bukele has become a ruthless strongman, trampling due process and other civil protections in his quest for power. The President has been accused of ordering the military to occupy the Congress building in February 2020, in an attempt to force lawmakers to approve a loan for his security plan. The move was widely criticized by international organizations, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights called it a "serious setback for democracy in El Salvador".

After a year of Bukele's state of emergency, a 'new reality' is settling into the country. The government has been using the emergency powers to enforce harsh measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, including a strict curfew and the use of the military to patrol the streets. Critics say these measures have been used to silence opposition and stifle dissent.

Despite the controversy, nearly 70% of Salvadorans favor President Nayib Bukele's bid for a second term, a local newspaper poll found, despite a constitutional ban on re-election. Bukele has been pushing for a constitutional reform that would allow him to run again, arguing that the country needs continuity to continue its fight against corruption and gangs.

El Penalito, the little jail, is a squat concrete structure on a busy commercial street in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. It is one of the many detention centers where the country's overcrowded prison system sends inmates who are suspected of being gang members. The conditions in these jails are notoriously bad, and human rights groups have accused the government of using them to torture and mistreat prisoners.

In March 2021, President Nayib Bukele said he will send to the country's Congress next week a bill to allow bitcoin to be used as legal tender, alongside the US dollar, in the small Central American nation. Bukele said the move would help El Salvador attract investment and promote financial inclusion, but critics say it is a risky move that could lead to money laundering and other illegal activities.

El Salvador's bonds are on a roll as investors cheer on signs that President Nayib Bukele's government is trying to shore up finances. The country's dollar bonds have rallied this year, boosted by rising investor confidence that Bukele can deliver on his promises to revive the economy and tackle corruption.

For the past year, the government of El Salvador has been in the midst of an extraordinary crackdown on gangs. The courts have waived human rights protections, allowing the police and military to carry out mass arrests and detention without trial. The government has also been accused of using extrajudicial killings and torture to intimidate suspects and their families.

In conclusion, President Nayib Bukele continues to spark controversy in El Salvador with his actions and policies. While his supporters credit him with taking bold steps to fight corruption and gangs, his critics say he is undermining democratic institutions and violating human rights. The situation in the country remains volatile, and it is unclear what the future holds for El Salvador and its people.

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