El Salvador’s young President Nayib Bukele has come under criticism after his administration dismissed the attorney general and top five judges of the country’s constitutional court.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have denounced the dismissals as a dangerous power grab.
The dismissal comes in response to the judges’ ruling over the president’s stay-at-home orders. Bukele has defended his action in a tweet addressed to the international community, saying he is “cleaning his house and that is not your business”.
The United States, wondering how to stem the flood of Central American immigrants at its border with Mexico, has told Bukele that he could be undermining democracy. Vice President Kamala Harris has stated that an independent judiciary is critical to a healthy democracy.
There are many other reasons for the international community to worry about Bukele. Last year, he used armed forces to take over the legislative assembly in a bid to get approval for his budget.
The president, still 39-years- old, is hugely popular in the country. But he does not seem to change the fortune of his country.
The United States wants him to crack down on corrupt officials and drug gangs, the two major factors forcing Central Americans to trek northwards.
In a recent Washington Conference on the Americas, Harris said the Central American countries cannot progress unless they stamp out corruption.