GZERO Media logo
{{ subpage.title }}

US election seen from El Salvador: Will the "demonization" of migrants end?

Sergio Arauz is a political reporter for the newspaper El Faro, in El Salvador. Our conversation has been translated from Spanish and edited for length and clarity.

Alex Kliment: What are a few areas in which the US election could affect El Salvador?

SA: I think the presidential election in the US could have an important influence on Salvadoran politics because of the close relationship that the American embassy has with the administration of [Salvadoran president] Nayib Bukele.

Read Now Show less

Has El Salvador solved its crime problem?

For years, the tiny Central American country of El Salvador, population 6.5 million, has been one of the most dangerous places on earth. In 2015, it held the dubious title of "murder capital of the world" with a homicide rate of 103 people per hundred thousand inhabitants.

Much of that violence comes from powerful transnational gangs, like MS-13 or the 18th Street Gang, which were born in American prisons and came to El Salvador with deportees in the 1990s.

Last year, Salvadorans, tired of the established parties' inability to rein in the mayhem, elected a brash young political maverick to the presidency. Nayib Bukele, a 38-year old entrepreneur and former mayor of the capital city, promised a fresh and pragmatic approach to governing and tackling crime.

Read Now Show less

Coronavirus Politics Daily: Salvadoran gang crackdown, Taiwan and the WHO, Russian (dis)information

El Salvador's crackdown on gangs: After days of violence that left at least 60 people dead across the country, El Salvador's president Nayib Bukele authorized a "lethal" crackdown on gang members. The president said that after months of relative quiet on the streets of the Central American country because of coronavirus quarantines, gangs are taking advantage of a distracted government to wreak havoc. Most of the recent attacks were directed by gang members already in custody, prompting authorities to round up hundreds of semi-naked inmates, packing them together on prison floors while guards ransacked their cells. Human rights groups say that even before this, the virus was spreading wildly in notoriously jam-packed jails throughout Latin America. El Salvador has long been a hotspot of gang violence and human rights abuses, with police committing hundreds of extrajudicial executions between 2014-2018 as part of a state-sponsored crackdown on street gangs. The combination of a surging coronavirus outbreak in El Salvador, and emboldened gangs who dominate much of the country's informal economy, is a recipe for disaster.

Read Now Show less

Latest