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Security & Strategic Review - September 2021

EL SALVADOR: Strengthening the military

On 19 July President Nayib Bukele announced that 1,046 soldiers would be incorporated into his Plan Control Territorial (PCT) security initiative and revealed plans to double the military (FAES) from 20,000 troops to 40,000, a process which he said would take “five years to implement totally”. This process of militarising citizen security began under previous Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (Arena) and Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (Arena) governments. At the time it was received with alarm by human rights groups as it violates the constitution and 1992 Peace Accords ending the 1980-1992 civil war. Bukele’s announcement however drew particular concerns given what local civil society groups and the international community have flagged up as his authoritarian tendencies – not least the deployment of security forces to congress back in February 2020 [SSR-20-04].

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