Security & Strategic Review - March 2023

EL SALVADOR: Bukele claims victory, hails dismantling of gangs

President Nayib Bukele recently trumpeted the acknowledgement by some of his leading critics that the state of emergency in place since late March 2022 to crack down on gangs, has succeeded in dismantling the presence of gangs in the country. While there would indeed appear signs that this is the case, sceptics question the sustainability of the strategy, which has seen constitutional guarantees suspended and thousands of suspected gang members incarcerated, as well as the worrying toll on democracy and human rights.

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