Nayib Bukele battle on gangs: El Salvador has arrested 2% of its grownup inhabitants. Different international locations are taking notice

Nayib Bukele war on gangs: El Salvador has arrested 2% of its adult population. Other countries are taking note


Eight months since El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele announced a war on gangs, an estimated 2% of the country’s adult population – or roughly 100,000 people – are now behind bars.

Bukele’s crackdown this year, prompted by a bloody killing spree by gangs that saw dozens of people killed in March, placed El Salvador in a prolonged state of emergency and relaxed important constitutional rights, like due process and freedom of association.

This mano dura or “iron fist” anti-gang policy appears to be working, with homicide rates falling in the country, according to Tiziano Breda, a Central America expert at the Crisis Group.

And Bukele himself is now enjoying renown many leaders can only dream of – with an 86% approval rating in an October survey of 12 Latin American countries by CID Gallup, making him the most popular leader in the region, despite the…