Bukele, 42, has garnered significant support among the El Salvadorian people due to his tough-on-crime policies which have slashed the nation's homicide rate by ordering law enforcement agencies to crack down on criminal gangs, according to Reuters.
Before Bukele was elected president in 2019, the South American country had the highest murder rate in the world. By July 2023, President Bukele was able to declare El Salvador the "safest country in Latin America."
He used this success as a campaign strategy which launched him to yet another victory on Sunday evening.
The polling stations were flooded with the president's cyan blue and white campaign colors, while support for Bukele's opponents was essentially non-existent. His popularity in El Salvador is widespread in both impoverished and wealthy neighborhoods.
Since taking office, according to the Wall Street Journal, a strategy Bukele implemented in 2022 of arresting suspected gang members en masse has brought the homicide rate down by 92 percent since 2015. It has put about 68,000 people from the country in prison, more than one percent of the population.
The policy has brought some criticism from human rights groups such as Amnesty International. The group says the process has led to "arbitrary detentions." Erika Guevara-Rosas, a director of the group said the country's "authorities are committing widespread and flagrant violations of human rights."But the Salvadorian people have spoken and they voted once again for President Bukele and his tenacity to go after criminals and make the average Salvadorian safe.
Nine out of every 10 Salvadorans say they support Bukele, and the number of illegal immigrants from the country crossing the US-Mexico border has dropped 44 percent, per the Wall Street Journal.
Reports show that the homicide rate so far in 2023, if continued to the end of this year, would be 2.3 per every 100,000 residents in the country—lower than anywhere else in Latin America.
The Wall Street Journal reported that other leaders in Latin America have wanted to copy Bukele's tactics. "It’s simple, just copy him. Do what Bukele’s doing," said Cynthia Viteri. Viteri served as the mayor of the violet Ecuadorean city, Guayaquil, until May.
Parents in impoverished neighborhoods have said that their children can go play outside without having to ask for permission like they used to.
"I would vote for Bukele 10 more times,” Edwin Avalos, a restaurant owner, said. “Two years ago, I wouldn’t have opened a business here." Prior to the policies from Bukele, he had to pay $6,000 every year because of gang-led extortion.This is a breaking story and will be updated.