El Salvador's Bicentennial Independence Day
Today was an Independence Day in El Salvador quite unlike any in recent memory. It is the Bicentennial of the independence of El Salvador and the rest of Central America from Spain, and is occurring in the midst of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of civic parades with school marching bands and military units, thousands of Salvadorans took to the streets in a series of marches protesting government policies.
In 2019, on the last Independence Day celebration before the COVID-19 pandemic, president Bukele hosted a large military parade, including a mock "anti-terrorist" operation against gang members. The pandemic greatly limited any public gatherings in 2020. This year, however, with parades and civic events still largely restricted to mitigate pandemic illness, civil society groups, healthcare worker unions, student groups, social movements all called for combined protest marches in the capital city of San Salvador.
"Is this loving El Salvador?"