Recent news summary

Here is a summary of some of what has been happening in El Salvador in the first half of May.

World bond markets fear El Salvador will default on its debt.

The discount on El Salvador’s foreign debt surged to record levels in recent days as world investors see it as increasingly likely that El Salvador will default in the near future. The risk component of a bond discount reflects the willingness of a bond investor to sell the bond on the secondary market for a discount from its face value because of a concern the government issuer will not honor its promise to pay the face value. With respect to El Salvador, investors see that risk as one of the highest in the world currently. As each week passes without El Salvador reaching agreements with international lending institutions to refinance its debt, that risk increases.

As Bitcoin price swoons, Bukele keeps doubling down with country’s cash.
The price of Bitcoin dropped below $30,000 USD this week, having dropped 50% in the past six months.  The collapse in crypto prices shrank the value of the Bitcoin holdings which Nayib Bukele has directed be purchased with taxpayer money.  So on May 9,  Bukele promptly increased the country’s bet on the volatile crypto-currency, purchasing 500 more Bitcoin for more than $15 million at an average price of $30,744 per BTC.

As one of the world’s leading cheerleaders for Bitcoin, it was no coincidence that Bukele decided to release on the same day renderings of what his futuristic Bitcoin City would look like. Bukele presumably hoped that showing images of a glowing crypto-future would cause a rebound in the price of the asset; however, as of the time of this writing, the price of BTC has not rebounded.

State of Exception continues to lock up many, release few.
The State of Exception with its suspension of constitutional guarantees and massive round-ups of alleged gang members continues at a constant pace in the country. The government states that it has so far detained 29,000 persons, and that 18,000 of them have now been processed through initial proceedings ordering them to be held in prison while their court cases proceed.

Large crowds of family members wait outside of the country's prisons hoping to get any word of their husbands and sons caught up in the sweeps.   Despite government assurances that it is only arresting gang members, the press continues to publish stories of seemingly innocent people caught up in police attempts to fill quotas of arrests.   At least 8 people recently detained have died within the country's prisons since the State of Exception began.   Human rights organization Cristosal issued a report detailing 140 denunciations of human rights violations in the first 30 days of the State of Exception.   

US prosecutors inform US court that El Salvador freed 4 MS-13 leaders it sought to extradite.
The US Justice Department has indicted and seeks to prosecute a group of the top leaders of Mara Salvatrucha, several of whom are in El Salvador.  The court where the indictment is filed asked prosecutors to give a status report on efforts to extradite those gang members from El Salvador.   The Justice Department filed a letter to tell the court that it had not yet been able to secure custody of the defendants and that it appeared the Salvadoran government had freed four of gang chieftains.

Mexican president visits El Salvador.
The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, visited El Salvador on May 6 as part of a tour among Central American countries. In statements during the visit, López Obrador, called on the US to increase funding of programs to improve economic conditions in Central America if the US really wants to stem the flow of migrants across Mexico from Central America. For his part, Bukele agreed that El Salvador wanted to reduce the loss of productive workers to the migrant journey northwards. López Obrador also mentioned that Mexico was proud of the role it played in hosting talks which led to the 1992 Chapultepec Peace Accords ending El Salvador's civil war. In contrast, Bukele has called the Peace Accords a "farce." The public remarks of the two presidents did not touch on the State of Exception currently in place in El Salvador.

If you want to know how COVID pandemic is proceeding in El Salvador, I cannot tell you.  The Salvadoran government has not updated its official website at with data on the reach of vaccinations since April 26 nor has it provided information on the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 since April 9.      

Mountaineer is first Salvadoran to reach summit of Mount Everest
Salvadoran mountaineer, Alfa Karina Arrué, is the first Salvadoran climber to reach the summit of Mount Everest. The 46 year old climber and constitutional lawyer reached the summit of the world’s tallest mountain on April 11, after being defeated by the mountain the year before.


Unknown said…
like this format keep it up the DUDE
Charly Boqueron said…
other news and current events that are worth a mention:

inflation and the economic downturn.

the high expectations concerning the imminent take over of the worker's pensions fund saving by the government to cover the bond debt due in 2023.

the speculation over whether the government will also pry into the international savings reserves.

the government's scramble to pay basic public employee's salaries and providers with many health, education, retired judges and law enforcement personnel owed several months worth of salaries.

the over use of government credit through the local banking systems known as LETES and CETES.

the tens of thousands of salvadorans leaving illegally for the united states and thousands others seeking assylum in the united kingdom which now requires a visa for salvadoran citizens.

karim bukele and the other bukele siblings expected to join the engel list of corrupt actors.

nayib bukeles ties to organized crime by colluding with and assisting launder money for jose luis merino, herbert saca, etc.