El Salvador has been making headlines recently, both for its controversial crackdown on crime and its adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender. While seemingly unrelated, these two events may be connected in ways that are not immediately apparent.
President Nayib Bukele has been praised by some for his tough-on-crime stance, which has led to the arrest of more than 64,000 suspected gang members. However, human rights organizations have criticized the policy, pointing out that innocent people have been caught up in the anti-crime dragnet, and that detainees no longer have the right to a lawyer. Dozens of people have died in police custody since the policy was implemented.
El Salvador is run by family men in their prime age. (35-50)
When I worked for Synthesis School I did an exploratory call with the Bukele government.
I spoke with a man close to the President. I was polite but indicated that El Salvador might not be a good fit for our advanced…
At the same time, Bukele has been hailed as a visionary for his decision to make Bitcoin legal tender in El Salvador. The move has attracted attention from around the world, with some predicting that it could lead to other countries following suit.
But what do these two seemingly unrelated events have to do with each other? It may be that Bukele sees both as ways of addressing the same problem: the need for economic and social stability in a country that has long struggled with poverty and violence.
By making Bitcoin legal tender, Bukele may be hoping to attract investment and create new economic opportunities for Salvadorans. In a country where many people lack access to traditional banking services, Bitcoin could be a way to provide financial inclusion and help lift people out of poverty.
At the same time, Bukele’s tough-on-crime policy may be seen as a way of addressing the underlying social problems that contribute to gang violence in the first place. By cracking down on gangs and other criminal organizations, Bukele may be hoping to create a safer and more stable society that is more attractive to investors and entrepreneurs.
Of course, there are risks associated with both policies. Making Bitcoin legal tender could lead to increased volatility in the country’s economy, and the crackdown on crime has raised concerns about human rights abuses. But Bukele seems to be betting that the potential benefits of both policies outweigh the risks.
Whether Bukele’s strategy will succeed remains to be seen. But it’s clear that he is taking bold and unconventional steps to try to address the deep-seated problems that have long plagued El Salvador.