February 3, 2019


El Salvador votes for new president, with anti-corruption outsider in lead (Nelson Renteria, Noe Torres, 2/03/19, Reuters)

Bukele, who was mayor of San Salvador between 2015 to 2018, has said he wants to create an international anti-corruption commission with the support of the United Nations, following similar schemes in Guatemala and Honduras.

"We'll create a (commission) ... so that the corrupt can't hide where they always hide, instead they'll have to give back what they stole," Bukele said in January.

The country of 6 million people ranked 105 in Transparency International's 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index, alongside Brazil, which elected far-right Jair Bolsonaro last year on a similar anti-corruption platform.

Bukele, who slicks back his hair and often sports a backwards baseball cap, has a large social media following, uses Facebook Live for official announcements, and challenges opponents on Twitter.

Growing up, Bukele's relatively wealthy family were sympathetic to the FMLN, the former leftist guerrilla army that became a political party at the end of El Salvador's civil war in 1992.

But Bukele has turned away from Latin America's traditional left, branding Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega as well as conservative Honduran Juan Orlando Hernandez dictators.

"A dictator is a dictator, on the "right" or the "left"," Bukele wrote in a tweet last week.

Posted by at February 3, 2019 7:56 AM