Anniversary of 9F
Today is the anniversary of what has come to be known in El Salvador as simply "9F." On this day one year ago, Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele, summoned his supporters to the outside of the Legislative Assembly building in a dispute with his opponents in the congress over a loan approval. Police and military were deployed throughout the capital city. Then Bukele marched into the chambers of the legislature accompanied by heavily armed soldiers and took the seat belonging to the president of the Legislative Assembly.
|Photo from ElSalvdor.com / EDH|
Critics of Bukele see this event as a prime indicator of authoritarian tendencies in the popular president. On display was his willingness to disregard constitutional norms and the separation of powers. Also evident were armed forces and national police who understood their loyalties as running directly to the president.
Nayib Bukele's power play
Bukele sends armed troops before him into Legislative Assembly
Bukele sat at the front of the Legislative Assembly, next to his ally Guillermo Gallegos of GANA, and began to pray silently. Then Bukele got up and left, telling his followers gathered outside that God had given him a message to have patience and let the Assembly have another week to approve the loan package sought by Bukele.
On today's anniversary, a coalition of news media has put together a four part documentary mini-series about the events of 9F called El Retorno de los Fusiles (The Return of the Rifles). You can watch the first part here. The second part will air tonight. It is a cautionary tale leading into national elections at the end of this month. (Sorry, it is only in Spanish).