Salvadorans March Against Bukele's Economic And Judicial Policies
San Salvador, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 18th Oct, 2021 ) :Thousands of protesters marched in San Salvador Sunday against President Nayib Bukele's government, including the move to make bitcoin legal tender in the country.
Demonstrators, including feminist groups, human rights organizations, environmentalists and members of political parties, shouted slogans and carried signs reading, "Bitcoin is fraud," "No to dictatorship," "Democracy is not up for negotiation, it is defended" and "Enough authoritarianism." "People are starting to get tired of this authoritarian government, (it's) anti-democratic," Ricardo Navarro, head of the environmentalist NGO Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technology, told AFP.
"He is already taking us down a cliff with his bad ideas that are already affecting the economy with this bitcoin." El Salvador, which has used the US Dollar for two decades, became the first country in the world last month to legalize bitcoin as a national Currency, which the government says will help revitalize its struggling economy.
Such payments make up some 22 percent of the country's GDP.
"He attacked judicial independence," Medardo Gonzalez, former leader of the Farabundo Marti Front for Liberation party, told AFP, referring to the recent legislative vote to remove judges over 60 or who have served more than 30 years.
And head of the Salvadoran Trade Union Front Wilfredo Berrios told AFP he had come to the protest to march against water privatization, as Congress debates a law that would guarantee water access for the whole population and ban any private takeover.
Bukele downplayed the discontent, even saying protesters had harassed bystanders who didn't participate in the march.
"In just 12 seconds, they censor the freedom of expression of a senior, push a person using a mobility aid, and try to censor a media outlet," Bukele tweeted, alongside a video showing marchers jostling in the streets.
"This is our opposition."