In a recent column published on TV Azteca’s web platform, Mexican researcher and columnist Fernanda Ortega emphasizes the success of the security measures implemented by President Nayib Bukele, which have sparked a wave of “Bukelemania” not only in El Salvador but also in other countries, where admiration for the president is undeniable.
Ortega highlights that the admiration for Bukele is largely due to the effectiveness of the security plans he has implemented in the country, such as the state of exception.
The researcher points out that the state of exception is the tool that has allowed for “66,000 people to be arrested and accused of being gang members, with at least 4,000 of them being admitted to El Salvador’s Terrorism Confinement Center, a prison and Bukele’s flagship project, which is five times the size of Mexico City’s Zócalo and has a capacity for 40,000 inmates.”
” The results have been clear: in 2015, El Salvador’s homicide rate was 106 per 100,000 inhabitants. Seven years later, it dropped to 7 murders per the same population,” she states emphatically in her article.
Ortega questions those who have labeled the state of exception as “inhumane” or a violation of human rights. However, she emphasizes that gang members have taken thousands of lives in El Salvador and caused pain to countless families, so exemplary punishment is a fitting reward for their crimes.
“In this prison, there are no beds, recreational areas, or conjugal visits. Only metal slabs to sleep on, 19 surveillance towers, and one toilet for every 100 inmates. It is undoubtedly difficult to imagine, and the bit of humanity within us may say that it is a cruel punishment, that it goes against all dignity,” she expresses.
“But what about the thousands of Salvadoran families who, for years, had to protect themselves from the maras? Would we think the same if we had witnessed the shooting of a cousin or the rape of one of our neighbors? Can we truly call someone ‘human’ who never hesitated to kill a member of their own family? Are these entities truly worthy of rights?” she adds.
Finally, Ortega details that “these figures, combined with other achievements of the Salvadoran government, have unleashed Bukelemania, especially on social media, where even people from other nations recognize Nayib’s work and ask him to become president of their countries or of America.”
“Nayib Bukele enjoys a 92% approval rating among Salvadorans, which could lead to his reelection, provided he wins the February elections. However, this widespread acceptance has not stopped international organizations, human rights advocates, and other leaders from expressing outrage over the measures taken by Bukele and his government to apprehend criminals. Could it be that their interests are being affected rather than a genuine concern for the detainees?” she questions.
Fernanda Ortega’s analysis highlights the effectiveness of President Nayib Bukele’s security measures and their impact on Salvadoran society. While generating widespread admiration, these measures have also attracted international attention and debates regarding human rights and punishment. As the country heads towards the upcoming elections, the support for Bukele remains strong, despite criticism from various quarters.