President Nayib Bukele security plan for the country has many phases that focus on gaining control of the Salvadoran territory by taking it away from criminal organizations. The government will implement these security phases at different times during Nayib Bukele’s administration.
President Nayib Bukele’s security plan went into effect soon after he began his term in office. As of now, the security plan has been in implementation for about eleven months. During this period, the security plan has produced excellent results, especially lowering the daily murder rate.
Nowadays, El Salvador has the lowest murder rate since the civil war ended. According to President Bukele and other experts, the security plan implemented by his administration is responsible for that.
Significantly, polls show that most Salvadorans agree that the president is doing an excellent job on security. Furthermore, the survey reveals that Salvadorans think that the drop in murders is due to his security plan.
Phase one. Taking control of the territory and cutting off communications.
In phase one, the government’s goal was to take control of the territory and cut off communications from jails. Of course, the government implemented harder measures intended to produce results right away.
To take control fo the territory, the government deployed hundreds of police officers and military personal into the streets. Basically, the police and army’s goal was to get control of conflicted areas; these areas were in control of local gans.
In essence, the new territory control force, made up of police and army personal, went into problematic areas to gain control. Accordingly, little by little, they moved into all the most problematic areas of the country. These trends continued until all of the most conflicted areas were under control.
To cut off communications from jails, the government blocked all cellular signals in the prisons; additionally, it removed phones from them as well.
The first step was to remove phone booths from the jails. Previously, inmates could spend up to $100 per month in phone calls.
The second step was to completely block all cellular signals from the prisons; something that the previous administration said they did. At this point, President Nayib Bukele threatened to fine the phone companies if they didn’t comply. The end result is that prisons have no cell signal anymore.
Phase two. Social reconstruction of communities.
Phase two of the security plan involved the social reconstruction of communities and the training of young people. Bukele has said on many occasions that he wants to give young people other options, other than joining gangs.
To eliminate gangs, the president thinks that we have to make it difficult for criminal organizations to recruit new members. Evidently, one way of doing this is by giving young people alternatives to become gang members.
During phase two, the president is looking to train individuals in different fields, so they can find suitable employment; therefore, staying away from criminal organizations.
The result of this security phase is hard to perceive in a short time; only, in the long run, we will see if it worked.
Phase three. The modernization of security forces.
Phase three involves the modernization of the equipment security forces uses. Basically, the president wants to modernize the police by giving them modern equipment to fight gangs and crime.
The implementation of this security phase is uncertain as the Legislative Assembly does not want to approve the funds for its implementation.
The president and the General Assembly have been at odds with each other concerning the financing for phase three. On February 9th, 2020, the president held a rally outside the Assembly to pressure them.
He entered the Legislative Assembly’s chamber for a few minutes and prayed; nonetheless, he has encountered backlash, mostly because of some armed army personal went in with him.
Since the February 9th incident, President Bukele has affirmed that he respects the balance of powers, here is an article on the Washington Post about the issue.
President Bukele, on many occasions, has said that the General Assembly does not care about the nation’s security. Surely, his comments are based on them not willing to approve the phase three financing.
To summarize, President Nayib Bukele’s security plan has produced excellent results thus far; especially, decreasing the number of monthly murders.
Other security measures of Nayib Bukele security plan
President Nayib Bukele and his administration have implemented other measures to reduce crime. The following measures have mixed reactions from Salvadorans and from the international community.
No more exclusive jails.
The government put a stop to gang members having their own exclusive prisons. At this point, all jails in the country will have inmates from all gang affiliations.
Mixing inmates in cells.
In all prisons, inmates of all gangs will be mixed together in individual cells; there is no more cell exclusivity. consequently, international organizations protecting human rights have criticized this measure taken by the Salvadoran government.
El Salvador’s murder rate, scary facts.
Undeniably, El Salvador has a reputation as being one of the countries with the highest murders rate per capita. On many occasions, El Salvador has been described as the murder capital of the world; a nickname that I dislike, since I am Salvadoran. However, I do understand why people use it when referring to El Salvador.
By all means, it is scary to think of how many Salvadorans get murder every day in such a small beautiful country. The following is the daily murder rate by year.
- 2020: 3.8*
- 2019: 6.6
- 2018: 9.2
- 2017: 10.8
The following is a breakdown of El Salvador’s murder rate since June 2019; this is when Nayib Bukele began his term as president.
Nayib Bukele security plan.
Surprisingly, even with these numbers, some people from the opposition believe that this is a smokescreen from the current administration; they believe the country is not safer than before.
All I can say to them is the following, I do respect their opinion as we live in a democratic nation; but, I disagree with their view of the current situation.
I am glad Nayib Bukele won the election and that he has this level of success thus far. Furthermore, I hope the administration continues to work harder and for things to get better.
To rephrase it, if President Bukele’s administration succeeds, we all succeed as we are in the same boat.