Nayib Bukele at the UN: “We Have Reaffirmed Our Legitimate Right to Govern Ourselves”

Nayib Bukele spoke yesterday, Tuesday, September 19, at the UN General Assembly. There he stated that his Government has received systematic attacks from other countries in the region and that today El Salvador competes with Canada in terms of security on the continent .

Nayib Bukele



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Leer en español: Nayib Bukele en la ONU: “hemos reafirmado nuestro derecho legítimo a autogobernarnos”

The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, assured this Tuesday before the United Nations General Assembly that his Government suffered "systematic attacks" from "some countries" for the "decisions taken" to combat violence in the Central American country.

Bukele spoke about the "changes" made in the country, such as the replacement of the attorney general and judges of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) – whose processes were questioned -, and assured that "it was at that moment when the international condemnations began, some countries, the media, some experts began systematic attacks against each of the decisions we made."

The president noted that "people who never used their power and influence to demand security for our murdered people were suddenly against our decisions to stop the massacre." He indicated that "countries that never condemned the murder of 30, 40 and even 50 Salvadorans per day suddenly demanded explanations from us as to why we changed the prosecutor, the magistrates or the judges."

"Don't you think it's absurd that they would question us for that?" he said.

Bukele, who will seek re-election in 2024 despite accusations that it is unconstitutional, assured that "if we had listened to them we would continue to lose thousands of Salvadorans at the hands of terrorists. Thank God we did not listen to them."

Read also: El Salvador Presidential Elections 2024: How Possible Is Bukele's Re-election?

"They criticized and condemned us for each of the decisions we made. Intellectuals, journalists, politicians and organizations from all over became involved in a debate about what we were doing," he noted and added: "today I come to tell you that debate is over and that the decisions we made were correct."

Bukele assured that the country "is no longer the world capital of death," but rather that "today we are a benchmark for security and no one can doubt it, the results are there, they are irrefutable," he said.

He assured that his Government is "building more and better relationships with allied countries that want to help us build our country, to build our dreams."

Furthermore, he maintained that "no country has the right to impose its ideas, to impose its ways of doing things, especially when these ways do not even work in our countries." "In each of the decisions we have made, we have reaffirmed our legitimate right to govern ourselves, even if that would have meant being wrong (…) we not only reaffirmed our right to make our own decisions, but our right to be right," he added.

Exception regime: the most criticized measure

Since March 2022, Congress decreed an emergency regime to combat gangs and that contemplates the suspension of several constitutional rights, such as the right to administrative defense of detained people.

This measure, which has become the Government's main action against the gangs, has left more than 72,600 detained, while humanitarian organizations report more than 5,000 "direct victims" of human rights violations, mainly due to arbitrary detentions, and more than 160 deaths of people in state custody.

According to Bukele, "today El Salvador competes with Canada for being the safest country on the entire continent."

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