Critics have questioned the president's decision to run for the same position for consecutive terms. However, the country's top court ruled in 2021 that Nayib Bukele can run for 2024 elections. AFP

President Nayib Bukele from El Salvador easily won his reelection bid on Sunday night, following a controversial campaign that included changing the country's constitution. Amid the landslide victory, politicians and organizations are showing their support for the self-styled "world's coolest dictator."

The President claimed victory on Sunday before the tallying began, saying he'd gotten over 85% of the votes and at least 58 out of the Legislative Assembly's 60 lawmakers.

"It's a record for the world's democratic history," he said.

Throughout his time in office, Bukele has raised eyebrows due to his decisions and tactics on fighting crime. His mandates to arrest gang members en masse, isolate thousands of them in new prisons, banning visits and the lack of fair trials are just a few of the consequences that criminals face in El Salvador today.

More than 75,000 suspects have been detained since lawmakers suspended constitutional rights in El Salvador. But despite the controversial tactics, homicide rates plummeted last year, making the impoverished Central American nation one of the safest in the Western Hemisphere.

"We have confiscated everything, even the sleeping mats. We are rationing food and they will no longer see the sun," Bukele wrote on X (former Twitter) in April 2022.

Many of his critics, however, wonder if these measures will have long-lasting effects and whether the violations of human rights should be excused.

Evangelical Pastor Mario Vega, who runs a congregation in charge of 43 minors whose parents were detained during the security offensive is among those who believe Bukele's ideas cause more harm than good.

"The social causes that gave rise to gang activity not only continue, but have deepened," Vega told The Wall Street Journal.

Noah Bullock, executive director of Cristosal, a Salvadoran human rights group, also called out Bukele's time in office. "This is no longer a constitutional republic," Bullock said. "It's a de facto authoritarian regime."

Bukele has also acquired some heat in the U.S. Just last week, a group of Representatives, led by Rep. Ihan Omar, submitted a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, urging the Biden Administration to denounce Bukele's crimes against humanity.

This did not happen. Instead, Blinken was among the first American personalities to congratulate Bukele on his reelection.

"The United States values our strong relationship with the people of El Salvador, forged over 160 years and build on shared values, regional ties, and family connections" Blinken wrote in a statement, "...Only by working together can we achieve our full potential and overcome the greatest obstacles in our hemisphere and globally."

The Secretary of State also mentioned that he looks forward to the continued collaboration between the U.S. and El Salvador, prioritizing "inclusive economic prosperity, fair trial guarantees, and human rights."

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