Washington Post Says Nayib Bukele's Wildly Popular Gang Crackdown is Turning El Salvador Into a 'Police State'

Chris Menahan
Feb. 27, 2023

President Nayib Bukele's hugely successful crackdown on gangs in El Salvador, which has the support of 92% of the population, is turning the country into a "police state" according to the Washington Post.

Opinion columnist Leon Krauze said in a piece on Sunday that El Salvador's newly unveiled massive prison for hardened gang members "shows Bukele's emerging police state."

From The Washington Post:
Earlier this month, Nayib Bukele, president of El Salvador, unveiled his latest infrastructure project: a massive, “first-world” jail that could well become the largest penitentiary in the world, with an alleged capacity to hold 40,000 inmates. This weekend, he announced the transfer of the first 2,000 prisoners to the new facility.

“A common-sense project,” Bukele called it.

The reality is that the scale of the project defies common sense — and easy comprehension. And the social implications of the endeavor are no less striking. The citizens of El Salvador have tacitly accepted Bukele’s unprecedented crackdown on crime, and, for the time anyway, are ignoring its broader ramifications.

[...] At least 60,000 Salvadorans have been imprisoned as a result of the crackdown, including hundreds of minors, often in what a recent Human Rights Watch reports calls “indiscriminate raids.” The report paints a chilling portrait of authorities run amok, arresting Salvadorans with “no apparent connections to gangs’ abusive activity,” sometimes acting merely on “appearance or social background.” As of November, 90 detainees had died in custody, according to the government’s own numbers.

Even before the crackdown, El Salvador had one of the highest incarceration rates per capita in the world. After the crackdown, the country might extend its lead in this grim statistic.

[...] But the real sea change is on the ground, where citizens report that extortion has all but disappeared. Salvadorans have gained a palpable sense of security in their everyday lives at the expense of due process, democracy and transparency. Most seem to be fine with the trade-off. Bukele himself is immensely popular, as is the state of emergency he has declared. Protests against him have fizzled.

That said, nothing guarantees the long-term success of this extravagantly punitive approach. Systemic opacity has made it impossible for independent journalists to verify what it will cost Bukele to fund his sprawling security apparatus. Maintaining an indefinite state of emergency and a high incarceration rate won’t come cheap, and the country’s economy is not healthy.

He could also be playing with fire by creating such a huge police state. Security forces have a nasty habit of becoming powerful interest groups of their own, and could even attempt to seize power if their demands are not met.

And then there are the prisoners themselves. Leaving aside the very real human rights implications, Bukele’s strategy carries potentially big downside risks. Even if he manages to keep tens of thousands of “terrorists” behind bars, cut off from the world outside, gangs tend to thrive in jail. (In fact, some of El Salvador’s most notorious gangs grew inside the United States’ prison system.) Who is to say that these men, who are now being denied their rights and left to rot in questionable conditions, won’t eventually become a bigger threat? And after all, they cannot be kept detained indefinitely.

Salvadorans may yet come to regret their Faustian bargain.
The Post would prefer that prison be filled with people locked up for using "hate speech" (and they couldn't care less about any potential downside risks).

The fact of the matter is our globalist oligarchs in the West are getting panicked over the fact Americans are seeing the huge success Bukele is having in Third-World El Salvador and asking themselves why our leaders can't do similar here.

The answer is because Soros-funded Democratic prosecutors and Republican leaders were all bought off to push "criminal justice reform."

The bipartisan effort to empty our nation's prisons in 2019 in the name of fighting "systemic racism" helped spawn the massive post-Floyd crime wave that followed in 2020.

Rather than exercise what Bukele correctly called "common sense" and throw gang members in prison our rulers have been single-mindedly focused on locking up Trump supporters who walked through the Capitol on Jan 6 and imprisoning other "white extremists" they've deemed America's "greatest threat."

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