El Salvador's Bukele claims 'record' reelection victory

February 05, 2024

Bukele, 42, claimed to have won more than 85 percent of the presidential vote and his party Nuevas Ideas 58 of the 60 seats in parliament. Bukele had already claimed a "record" victory on X, formerly Twitter, hours before, as supporters set off fireworks in several areas of the capital, and hundreds gathered on a central square chanted "Nayib! "We are more than happy with this victory: we will have Bukele for five more years," Lorena Escobar, a 38-year-old nurse, told AFP. El Salvador's fearsome gangs had taken some 120,000 civilian lives in three decades, according to the government, which says criminal groups controlled 80 percent of the country when Bukele took power in 2019. - 'State violence' -In December, an Amnesty International report raised alarm over the "gradual replacement of gang violence with state violence," pointing to arbitrary arrests.