Some news of the week

I'll continue with my series on the status of 2023 El Salvador, but in the meantime, here are some of the other stories from the past week.

Earthquake rattles country

A magnitude 5.1 shallow earthquake struck western El Salvador in the department of Ahuachapan close to the border with Guatemala on Sunday afternoon. The quake and several aftershocks produced some property damage to buildings, but there were no reports of injuries.

Groups protesting actions of the government marched.

On Sunday, January 15, protesters marched through the streets of El Salvador's capital city.   Marchers included those protesting the State of Exception, captures of innocent persons, corruption, and other concerns.  The march coincided with the 31st anniversary of the Peace Accords which ended El Salvador's civil war, but which Bukele labels a "farce."   As in similar marches, protesters were peaceful.  

Local environmental activists jailed for old war crime charges.

Local activists involved in water rights and fighting against gold mining were suddenly arrested last week from the community of Santa Marta.   The activists were former combatants in the FMLN guerrilla army and are accused by the Attorney General of commission of a war crime in the abduction, torture and killing of a woman suspected of collaborating with the Salvadoran military.   Local supporters see the arrests as pretextual and really aimed at squashing leaders who have successully blocked metallic mining at a time when they suspect the government of wanting to reverse course. 

Municipal employees and the mayor of Soyapango jailed over unpaid wages

The government of El Salvador's second largest city said it ran out of money and could not pay wages to all its employees in December including their holiday bonus (aguinaldo).   The mayor has been arrested and held on charges of failing to comply with her duties.   Meanwhile, when municipal union members were protesting in front of the city hall, two of them were arrested as well.   

Miss El Salvador supports a costume all about money and Bitcoin

Can we say just say tacky?   In this week's Miss Universe pageant in New Orleans, Miss El Salvador sported a gold costume, dedicated to the theme of money in El Salvador, and topped off with a Bitcoin staff. 

It was a far cry from Miss El Salvador 2021 whose outfit involving bloody handprints, a sword and scale of justice decried the ongoing disappearance of victims in El Salvador.

Miss Universe 2023 Pageant will be in El Salvador

There was a presidential announcement by Nayib Bukele -- the 2023 Miss Universe Pageant is coming to El Salvador.   The last time the pageant was hosted in the country was 1975, another time that the military was in the streets cracking down, and the government wanted to put a smiling image on the country.