Bukele’s “Mano Dura” Policies in El Salvador: A 12 Month Outlook 


    On 4 February, President Nayib Bukele was re-elected with a significant majority, therefore marking a pivotal moment for the nation’s future security landscape. Moreover, this victory underscores a public endorsement of his previous term, notably his aggressive stance against gang violence. The forthcoming 12 months post-Bukele’s re-election will be critical in determining the trajectory of El Salvador’s security environment, especially in assessing the sustainability of his crime reduction measures and their implications on democratic norms. 

    Key Judgement 1. El Salvador’s national security will likely improve due to Bukele’s ‘Mano Dura’ policies in the next 12 months.

    Key Judgement 2. Bukele’s heavy-handed policies will likely challenge El Salvador’s democratic institutions and respect for human rights in the next 12 months.

    Key Judgement 3. Human rights organisations and diplomatic partners will likely increase scrutiny against Bukele’s regime in the next 12 months.

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