In the 2023 Freedom in the World annual global report, El Salvador’s score dropped to 56/100, three points less than the 2022 score of 59. The country also dropped 1 point regarding political rights to 25/40 and 2 points on civil liberties to 31/60.
The Salvadoran score has gone from 70 in 2018 to 56 in 2023. The 14-point drop happened under the Bukele administration. Freedom Houses recognizes that Salvadoran authorities have pursued gangs with a harsh, militarized approach; however, they stated that it has resulted in allegations of abuse.
|Score out of 100||70||67||66||63||59||56|
Score out of 40
Score out of 60
The 2023 edition of the Freedom in the World report is the 50th in this annual series. “Freedom House rates people’s access to political rights and civil liberties in 210 countries and territories, ranging from the right to vote to freedom of expression and equality before the law.”
The 2023 freedom house report is not the only global analysis report that has given El Salvador a failing grade on democracy. For instance, Transparency International, V-Dem, Reporters Without Borders, and the Economist Global Democracy Index report all give El Salvador a low rating.
Elections in El Salvador are largely credible and free. However, corruption is a serious problem that undermines democracy and rule of law, and violence remains a grave problem. Authorities have pursued a harsh, militarized response to the country’s gangs, resulting in allegations of abuse.” Freedom House.
Central America’s Freedom in the World global report
There are no surprises regarding Central America’s Freedom scores; Costa Rica is a high standard with a consistent score of 91/100 since 2018. On the other end is Nicaragua, which has maintained a score below 45 since 2018.
From 2022 to 2023, Nicaragua had the most significant decrease; it dropped 4 points to 19. It was followed by El Salvador, which decreased by 3 points to 56. Costa Rica and Panama remained the same, and Honduras gained 1 point to 48.
From 2018 to 2023, Nicaragua had the most significant decline going from 44 to 19, a drop of 25 points. El Salvador is second with a 14-point decline, from 70 to 56.
Although the country has dropped in global analysis democracy ratings under the Bukele administration, Salvadorans don’t seem to care. Since 2019, President Bukele has received a high approval rating internally; his approval rating has not dropped under 75%!