SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (NewsNation) — The president of El Salvador wants you to move to his country, promoting his nation as “the new land of the free.”
President Nayib Bukele posted an ad on Twitter on Sunday, encouraging folks to move to El Salvador. The ad itself reflected the traditional “American family” watching their mid-1900s television. The ad represented the entire generational family: the grandparents, parents and children.
It also listed out the reasons why people should relocate to the country. The ad claimed there was no fentanyl crisis, no shootings or lootings. It claimed the nation has the lowest crime rate in the Americas and that Americans wouldn’t have to change their currency because the United States dollar was in circulation.
Plus, the ad offered great coffee, great weather and great beaches — what more could you ask for?
Last week, Bukele announced he would be sending a bill to El Salvador’s congress to eliminate all taxes on technology innovations, including income, property, capital gains and import tariffs. This effort could be considered an effort to lure tech companies to set up their home bases in the country.
However, this new promotion comes as the country lives in a state of emergency.
In February, 2,000 suspected gang members were moved to a new mega-prison in El Salvador that the president built for his “war” on criminal gangs.
The mega-prison, officially called the Center for the Confinement of Terrorism (CECOT), was built to hold 40,000 prisoners. Bukele unveiled the center in January, saying it is “a fundamental piece to completely win the war against gangs.”
The crackdown has resulted in over 65,000 arrests and thousands of alleged human rights abuses, but remains popular in a country where gangs once demanded protection payments with impunity.
Human rights organizations argue Salvadoran forces have committed “widespread human rights violations” since the state of emergency was announced last year in March. They also said there had been many instances where innocent people have been swept up in police raids.
The local rights group Cristosal documented 3,344 cases of human rights abuses in the first 11 months of the state of emergency. Most of the abuses involved arbitrary arrest; relatives claim young men are rounded up based on their appearance or because they live in low-income neighborhoods.
There have also been complaints about inadequate medical treatment in prisons.
Some believe it will worsen El Salvador in the long run.
The Associated Press and NewsNation writers Robert Sherman and Taylor Delandro contributed to this report.