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comment by cgod

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-64770716.amp kinda explains how they have gathered up tens of thousands of gang members and imprisoned them with little due process. Thousands of innocent people, and people who aren't liked by authorities, have been swept up as well.

The president, Nayib Bukele, who is the author of this clampdown has had an over 80% popularity rating for the last four years. He controls the legislature and fired and reappointed his own supremacy court. This isn't a Russian 80%, it's a real 80.

Last guy we saw wield the iron fist in Latin America like this was probably Fujimori in Peru. He hollowed out all the civil society organizations and unified the government behind him. Mo checks and balances, just like Nayib. Modern Peru is a hot mess, it's almost as interesting a story as El Salvador. I think Peru is on six governments and two impeachments in the last two years. I think a great deal of the dysfunction there can be laid at Fujimoris feet.

Ukraine and Ethiopia are pretty interesting right now but Latin America is heating up and it doesn't get a lot of notice.

b_b  ·  378 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Sounds similar to the Duterte model in the Philippines. Some talking heads lately have been questioning the State department’s insistence on democratic reforms in exchange for aid. The thinking basically goes that the Cold War is back with a vengeance, so we’d be naive not to cozy up to dictators like we used to with regularity so long as they were against the USSR.

In the end, we all want the same thing, which is safety and prosperity for our families, so it’s pretty easy to see why these gang busters in Latin America have so much appeal.

kleinbl00  ·  378 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The Duterte comparison is apt. Both Duterte and Bukele are populist demagogues whose rule is tied more closely to public appearance than governmental association. Both have been scornful of legal procedure and have championed vigilante violence. It's not like El Salvador (or the Philippines) descended into chaos just recently and it's not like we didn't train death squads in both countries. El Salvador is probably at a thousand or so extrajudicial murders so far;; the Philippines under Duterte probably murdered around 30k.

The talking heads are dumb. The State Department always insists on democratic reforms while funding and harboring the CIA's worst tendencies. We prrrrrobbbbbably? don't have anything of the scope and scandal of Operation Condor but the odds are good that the 2023 map looks pretty much the same as the 2010 map .

cgod  ·  378 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I don't know how to justify it but I feel like Duterte intentions were less sincere. He saw the drug crackdown as a good path to power and a great way to get rid of trouble makers.

Bukele definitely gets off on the adoration but I think he saw a problem he wanted to solve and went for it.

I could be wrong.

El Salvador had lost it's monopoly on violence. Before the crackdown Bukele had done a few cycles of treaty and and violent rebellion with the three different gang factions. I think he realizes he couldn't get ahead without decisive action.

I think Duterte is more of an opportunist. Drug users and dealers were an attractive victim for his populism.

kleinbl00  ·  377 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think it's a "young despot" vs. "old despot" situation - Duterte grew up under the Marshall Plan, Bukele grew up under the New World Order. Duterte grew up playing stickball, Bukele grew up playing video games. Bukele strikes me as an off-brand MBS - he grew up on the path to power and flashed a few "reform" gang signs in order to differentiate himself from the rest of the cronies.

Anyone who thinks "fuck yeah Bitcoin" is an economic policy isn't playing the game as if they mean it.

    I think Duterte is more of an opportunist. Drug users and dealers were an attractive victim for his populism.

...yet MS-13 isn't?

cgod  ·  377 days ago  ·  link  ·  

MS-13 is a real problem for El Salvador, I don't' think any gang in the Philippines was a seriously challenging government power.

cgod  ·  379 days ago  ·  link  ·  

How far is Mexico from trying the same?

Locking up all the gangs looks like a viable path to power, some one is sure to throw the dice.

kleinbl00  ·  378 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Sarah Chayes makes the point in Thieves of State that through the long lens of history, democratic/communist/totalitarian/libertarian objectively matters less than the level of corruption in government, and that the underlying theme in all scholarly advice to rulers mostly boils down to "don't be corrupt."

Lukashenko rose to power by promising to crack down on corruption. So did Trump ("drain the swamp"). So did Duterte, so did Modi, so did AMLO. I think the thing that distinguishes Mexico is that crime has been rampant for decades - I have a friend whose ex-husband was ransomed twice and she was literally following Vincente Fox around with a mic and headphones for a living. Where Mexican anti-corruption is likely to influence things is in the complicity of law enforcement - Iguala is a tragedy, Iguala committed by cops is a scandal.