How El Salvador was transformed during Bukele’s controversial administration and what his priorities will be if he wins a second term in office

How El Salvador was transformed during Bukele’s controversial administration and what his priorities will be if he wins a second term in office

El Salvador has undergone significant changes over the past few years under the controversial government of Nayib Bukele. From pacifying the country to attracting international events and infrastructure projects, El Salvador has captured the world’s attention in a way few imagined.

As Bukele seeks a second presidential term, it is important to analyze how he has transformed the country and what his priorities will be going forward.

Security records and homicide reductions

One of the most notable changes during Bukele’s administration has been the reduction of violence and homicides in El Salvador. According to government data, 2023 was the safest year in the country’s history, with an average of only 0.4 homicides per day. This has placed El Salvador as the country with the second lowest homicide rate in the Americas, behind only Canada.

Government’s figures have been questioned by organizations such as the University Observatory of Human Rights of the Central American University of El Salvador. It has been argued that these statistics do not include the deaths of suspected gang members in confrontations with police or those in state custody.

Despite the criticisms, most Salvadorans report living more peacefully and feeling safer compared to previous years.

Security strategy implemented by Bukele has been controversial. During the emergency regime initiated in March 2022, arbitrary arrests have been carried out without warrants and there have been reports of alleged mistreatment and deaths in state custody. These actions have led to concerns about democratic deterioration and the concentration of power in the figure of Bukele.

Tourism transformation and megaprojects

With the reduction of violence, the Bukele government has sought to attract international attention and promote tourism in El Salvador. The country has become the host of events such as the Miss Universe pageant and the Central American and Caribbean Games. In addition, the visit of Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami team has generated excitement among soccer fans.

These efforts have yielded positive results for tourism in El Salvador. The capital’s international airport has experienced a significant increase in the number of passengers and the country has positioned itself as one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations. However, this transformation has also generated challenges, such as gentrification in coastal areas and unaffordable prices for the local population.

In addition to boosting tourism, the Bukele government has carried out infrastructure projects financed by China. The construction of the National Library and other mega-projects have been presented as symbols of the country’s transformation.

However, these initiatives have also raised concerns about the displacement of communities and the relaxation of environmental regulations.

Betting on bitcoin and economic challenges

One of the highlights of the Bukele administration was the adoption of bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador. However, the use of this cryptocurrency in the daily lives of Salvadorans has been limited. According to a study, the majority of the population has not used bitcoin in all of 2023.

El Salvador’s economy faces significant challenges, such as rising prices of the basic basket of goods and lack of employment. Although the country experienced moderate economic growth, it remains the country with the lowest growth and the lowest foreign direct investment in Central America. Debt and future financial commitments raise questions about long-term economic sustainability.

In a possible second term, Bukele would face the challenge of strengthening the economy and improving the living conditions of the Salvadoran population. He is expected to focus on building affordable housing and attracting foreign investment. However, the lack of job skills and the need to invest in education are challenges that must be addressed to achieve sustainable economic development.

Perspectives and conclusions

Bukele administration has made significant progress in terms of security and attracting international events to El Salvador. However, it has also faced criticism for its authoritarian approach and possible human rights violations. The country is at a crucial moment, with economic and social challenges that require attention.

If Bukele wins a second term, he will need to address these challenges effectively and equitably. Restoring human rights, promoting transparency and strengthening the economy should be high on his agenda. The participation of diverse sectors of society and respect for the rule of law are fundamental to achieving sustainable development in El Salvador.

Ultimately, El Salvador’s future depends on its government’s ability to overcome challenges and seize opportunities. With a clear vision and an inclusive approach, it is possible for the country to move towards a prosperous and secure future for all Salvadorans.