4 May 2022

El Salvador drug gangs face ‘world’s coolest dictator’ as innocent suffer in crackdown

Latin America Correspondent

On a single Saturday in March 62 people were killed – it was El Salvador’s deadliest day since the  civil war ended three decades years ago.

This was despite a steady decline in murder rates for years.

The Central American country has long been known as one of the most dangerous places on earth – with violent turf wars engulfing the capital San Salvador.

But over the last month more than 20,000 people have been arrested  during an unprecedented crackdown on gangs under emergency measures brought in by El Salvador’s authoritarian president, Nayib Bukele.

But while critics accuse him of brutality and violating human rights – he has described himself as “the world’s coolest dictator”.