{"code":"25194","sect":"Columnas","sect_slug":"columnas","hits":"245","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/en\/202102\/columnas\/25194","link_edit":"","name":"After Double Homicide, Bukele Throws Gasoline on Political Crisis","slug":"after-double-homicide-bukele-throws-gasoline-on-political-crisis","info":"","mtag":"Editorial","noun":{"html":"El Faro","data":{"el-faro":{"sort":"","slug":"el-faro","path":"el_faro","name":"El Faro","edge":"0","init":"0"}}},"view":"245","pict":[],"pict_main__sort":null,"date":{"live":"2021\/02\/01"},"data_post_dateLive_YY":"2021","data_post_dateLive_MM":"02","data_post_dateLive_DD":"01","text":"\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ENot even an armed attack against FMLN sympathizers, which this Sunday took the life of two people, was enough to make Nayib Bukele rise to the standards of the presidency.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EMinutes after news of the crime broke, Bukele converted the double-homicide into another campaign opportunity. Without providing any proof, he insinuated on Twitter that the FMLN had committed a false flag attack: \u201cIt seems like the moribund parties have implemented their final plan. Such desperation not to lose their privileges and corruption. I thought they couldn\u2019t fall any further\u2026\u201d Not a single word of condolence; not a condemnation of the attack; not a call to get to the bottom of the crime.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EEven while the identity of the attackers and their motive were unknown, the president politicized the events. He didn\u2019t call for calm; it\u2019s not his style. He showed no empathy for the victims; he\u2019s incapable of it. He sowed confusion, poisoned the well, and politically speculated about a crime he had no knowledge of. It\u2019s his brand.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EArrests have been made and the alleged perpetrators \u2014 two of them bodyguards assigned to Francisco Alab\u00ed, the minister of health \u2014 have been charged. And while the details of the crime have yet to completely emerge, we can already confirm that Bukele used a deadly attack to go after his political opponents. He did so without proof, and he did it purposefully. This was not an aberration from his style, it was its essence. This is the man who governs El Salvador.\u00a0\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cblockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp lang=\"es\" dir=\"ltr\"\u003EParece que los partidos moribundos han puesto en marcha su \u00faltimo plan.\u003Cbr \/\u003E\u003Cbr \/\u003EQu\u00e9 desesperaci\u00f3n por no perder sus privilegios y su corrupci\u00f3n.\u003Cbr \/\u003E\u003Cbr \/\u003EPens\u00e9 que no pod\u00edan caer m\u00e1s bajo, pero cayeron.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u2014 \ud83c\uddf8\ud83c\uddfb (@nayibbukele) \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/nayibbukele\/status\/1356052652359086081?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"\u003EFebruary 1, 2021\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/blockquote\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cscript charset=\"utf-8\" type=\"text\/javascript\" src=\"https:\/\/platform.twitter.com\/widgets.js\"\u003E\u003C\/script\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp style=\"text-align: left;\" dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cspan style=\"color: #808080;\"\u003E(\u201cIt seems like the moribund parties have implemented their final plan. Such desperation not to lose their privileges and corruption. I thought they couldn\u2019t fall any further, but they've fallen.\u201d)\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EBukele has corrupted the army and the police to the point where their leaders publicly declare themselves loyal to him over the nation or its laws. The very police force which has refused to uphold judicial orders against government officials is now charged with investigating the attack against FMLN under the political pressure that their leader has generated with his speculation of a false flag operation.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EDespite the gravity of the president\u2019s reaction, it comes as no surprise. It is the continuation of the rhetoric this president has wielded since he took office: insulting, disqualifying, lying about, and attacking his political opponents. Dissident voices have no room in the country he rules.\u00a0\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EHe conceives politics as a battle to eliminate the adversary by any means necessary. His discourse of hate has been the central pillar not only of his campaign, but his governing strategy. It is constant warfare.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EEarlier on the day of the attack, Vice President F\u00e9lix Ulloa told civil war veterans that Salvadorans are now confronting a new conflict, and that \u201cthis new war, with new actors, has already begun. And we started it by winning on February 3, 2019.\u201d This discourse of intolerance invites violence.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EBukele looks askance at dialogue, negotiation, and power-sharing with critics, or opposition parties. He does so publicly, calling on his followers to show the same contempt. And he spreads that contempt. His ministers and propagandists see any opposing views as illegitimate, as coming from \u201cthe corrupt,\u201d or \u201crats\u201d that need to be exterminated. This is their stance even when people are killed and their blood is still fresh, as we saw this Sunday.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EFor Bukele what is important is not the country, but his concentration of power. In his conception of politics this means removing his rivals at all costs. This was evident long before Sunday\u2019s murders. Now, his will to crush has reached new depths. He respects nothing: not the other branches of government, not democracy, not the victims of the war, and not the victims of today.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EHis words after the attack are yet more evidence that Bukele is willing to set the country on fire if he believes doing so is necessary to remove his opponents and silence his critics. This is what he has done since he came into office. If on last February 9, when he stormed into the National Assembly surrounded by soldiers primed for combat, it seemed he had passed all limits, now it is clear that that day was the first step in crossing the red lines of democracy. Since then, he has not stopped.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EWhere are the limits of political jockeying? For Bukele, his family clan and the corrupt circle that surrounds him and depends on his loyalty to avoid legal consequences, it is clear that there are no limits. His objective is to eradicate all power-sharing.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIt\u2019s late, but it\u2019s not too late: it is still possible for some of his officials to understand they are part of the dismantling of democracy, for them to stand up to him, speak out, and refuse to be accomplices. For them to honor their responsibility to the nation, and put it above the loyalty demanded by the Bukele clan.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EBukele will not stop. He seeks to rule without democratic hindrances. If to achieve that he needs to set El Salvador on fire, he will light as many matches as needed. He is doing it now and will continue. Controlling the flames no longer depends on whether he will reconsider his approach, but whether civil society will stop him.\u003C\/p\u003E"}