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El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele registers his candidacy to seek reelection in 2024.

Latin America News Agency/REUTERS

El Salvador's Bukele benefits from bond boom

Nayib Bukele, the strongman president of El Salvador, certainly has his critics. He’s angered human rights activists with his sledgehammer crackdown on gang violence. He has antagonized the opposition by using the military to intimidate Congress and appointing judges who helped him wriggle out of term limits. Even the US has warned the youthful and irreverent Bukele about undermining his country’s fragile democracy.

And yet … Bukele enjoys a staggering 91% approval rating among ordinary Salvadorans, who see his strongman tactics as the price to pay for safer streets in one of the world’s most violent countries. The official homicide rate has fallen by half over the past year.

Now add one more group to the Bukele fan club: bond investors. The country’s sovereign debt is delivering 60% returns in 2023, the best performer in the world.

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