El Salvador: Authoritarian Actions Threaten Democracy [Updated May 19, 2021]   [open pdf - 640KB]

From the Document: "On May 1-2, 2021, the newly seated National Assembly of El Salvador, now dominated by President Nayib Bukele's New Ideas party, dismissed [hyperlink] the five magistrates on the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court and the attorney general and replaced them with allies of the president. Since taking office in 2019, Bukele has capitalized on the traditional parties' unpopularity to concentrate power in the executive. The recent dismissals, enforced by the police, reportedly occurred in retaliation for the attorney general's investigations of corruption [hyperlink] in Bukele's cabinet and court rulings that Bukele violated the constitution [hyperlink] in ruling by decree during Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Biden Administration officials and some Members of Congress have expressed concerns about democracy in El Salvador, which is located in the 'Northern Triangle' [hyperlink] region of Central America that is a primary source of unauthorized migration to the United States. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called [hyperlink] President Bukele to express concern about the dismissals. Some Members of Congress have called on the Administration to consider policy responses ranging from fostering dialogue [hyperlink] in El Salvador to conditioning [hyperlink] international financing for the country on the government's respect for democratic norms. On May 17, according to press reports, the State Department sent [hyperlink] a 'nonpublic report to Congress' identifying Northern Triangle politicians suspected of corruption that included five Salvadoran officials, including the head of Bukele's cabinet and his former minister of security."

Report Number:
CRS Insight, IN11658
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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