Public transport businessmen acknowledge that extortion fell by 95% with the implementation of the exception regime

Yesterday, the National Transportation Board thanked the President of the Republic, Nayib Bukele, for the implementation of the exceptional regime, since the legal measure has reduced by 95% the extortions that gang members and gang members periodically make against transportation businessmen. group of passengers.

The opinion regarding the results of the state of emergency was made known yesterday after a meeting with the presidential commissioner for Government Operations and Cabinet, Carolina Recinos; the Press Secretary of the Presidency, Ernesto Sanabria; the Minister of Public Works, Romeo Rodríguez; and the Deputy Minister of Transport, Saúl Castelar.

For several decades, William Cáceres, a public transport businessman, affirmed that the previous governments—ARENA and FMLN—were not capable of solving the problem of extortion, which for several decades economically affected the productive sector of El Salvador.

«It is important to recognize the decision of Mr. President Nayib Bukele, as it was to have introduced the exceptional regime that has reduced by 95% the extortion of which this sector has been a victim for many years. There was not, at any time, a government that made that brave decision to attack a cancer that had practically bankrupted this public transport sector,» Cáceres said at a press conference he gave after the meeting with executive officials.

«We, year after year, have been asking all previous governments to solve it, to attack extortion head-on. Today we feel highly satisfied and it must be said: the issue of extortion has dropped dramatically, as a result of all this action by the National Civil Police, the Armed Forces, but above all because of the decision made by the president of the republic, Nayib Bukele», expressed Cáceres.

The businessman did not specify how much the 95% reduction in extortion is equivalent in economic terms, but he pointed out that four years ago, in the FMLN government, almost $19 million was paid annually in extortion to criminal structures. «That structure that threatened, to which you had to pay so that they would not kill you, has been totally eradicated.

Previously, these people [the extortionists] had been charging $7 daily for the almost 11,000 units of collective transport between buses and minibuses. What we do have clear is that the effect of extortion, at this time, does not occur », he added.

Transportation businessman Genaro Ramírez also stated that the exception regime has been effective in improving security in the

sector. The union applauded the executive for the implementation of the Safe Transportation plan, focused on combating theft and robbery in the units and guaranteeing the safety of passengers.

This has been implemented since the end of July, with more than 2,000 elements of the Armed Forces and the National Civil Police that provide security on public transport buses and minibuses nationwide. The measure is part of phases I and IV of the Territorial Control Plan (PCT) that the Executive has been promoting since 2019 to combat maras, gangs, and organized crime.