Americas Desk, Feb 5 (EFE). –
The international community reacted throughout Monday to the controversial re-election of El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele with mixed messages of celebration and calls for him to protect human rights.
Bukele won a landslide victory in Sunday’s election, according to the preliminary results of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.
Amnesty International warned on Monday that the “human rights crisis” in El Salvador due to the state of emergency in place since March 2022 to combat gangs could worsen.
“We are deeply concerned about the erosion of respect for and protection of human rights under Nayib Bukele’s government and the likelihood that this trend will be consolidated during his second term,” said Ana Piquer, AI’s Americas director in a statement.
According to Piquer, “the international community must remain vigilant and use all means and mechanisms at its disposal to stop and reverse the abuses and state violence that are endangering the human rights situation in El Salvador.”
According to reports collected by Salvadoran and international humanitarian organizations, since the suspension of constitutional guarantees such as the right to a fair trial, more than 220 deaths of detainees have been recorded in Salvadoran prisons, some with signs of violence or torture.
After 22 extensions of the state of emergency, Bukele’s government reports more than 76,000 arrests and more than 6,000 complaints of abuse by humanitarian organizations.
United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that his country would “continue to prioritize good governance, inclusive economic prosperity, fair trial guarantees, and human rights in El Salvador.”
The controversial businessman’s triumph, was applauded by the Chinese government, a strategic ally of the re-elected president.
“From now on, we are at your disposal to strengthen the bonds of friendship and bilateral cooperation between the two countries,” said the Asian giant’s diplomatic mission.
For its part, the Mexican government, led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, sent a message through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs celebrating the re-election that took place in a “peaceful and democratic” day, while asking Bukele continue “building a future of cooperation and mutual development” between their two nations.
Messages from Central America
The leftist governments of Honduras and Guatemala, El Salvador’s neighbors, welcomed Bukele’s victory and congratulated the Salvadoran people for expressing their will at the polls.
“With the greatest respect and consideration, I wish you success in your new mandate,” Honduran President Xiomara Castro wrote on the social network X.
Meanwhile, Guatemalan President Bernardo Arévalo told Salvadorans that Guatemala “extends to you its hand to advance in peace and development.”
Similar sentiments were expressed by the governments of Panama and Costa Rica, who asked to continue “strengthening the bonds of friendship and cooperation” in the isthmus.
And from Nicaragua, President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo, called for the creation of “the conditions of work, security, justice and life that we deserve” for Central America.
The reaction of the South
In the south of the continent, where the figure of Nayib Bukele generates love and disagreement, there have also been reactions to his triumph, without the main leftist governments critical of his government having spoken out so far.
The government of the liberal Javier Milei reaffirmed “its commitment to continue working in favor of the historical bonds of friendship with El Salvador and to promote the existing mechanisms of cooperation between the two nations on the issues that make up the bilateral agenda.”
In Venezuela, the Plataforma Unitaria Democrática (PUD), the main opposition bloc, called on the re-elected Salvadoran president to “continue to accompany the Venezuelan people in their struggle for freedom and true democracy in a decisive year for political change,” by demanding a “free presidential election that expresses the true sentiments of the citizens.”
“Ecuador and El Salvador will continue to promote an active bilateral agenda of cooperation and friendship,” said a statement from the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry, whose president, businessman Daniel Noboa, who took office last November, has been compared to Bukele.
The similarities between the two leaders are mainly related to the prison policy that the Ecuadorian is trying to implement with the planned construction of two modern maximum security prisons to isolate the leaders of criminal gangs, against which he has declared an “internal war.” EFE