El Salvador’s Bukele going after price gougers

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele, known for his harsh anti-gang measures, threatened to use similar tactics against price gougers. Since 2022, he has detained tens of thousands of suspected gang members, often with little evidence, and has showcased them publicly. In a recent speech, Bukele warned wholesalers and distributors to lower food prices or face severe consequences. Re-elected with 85% of the vote, Bukele has special emergency powers but probably cannot imprison people for high prices alone. He alleged some engaged in tax evasion and bribery, which could lead to jail. The government found some product prices tripled and plans to set up 20 sales points for fair-priced food. Bukele, popular for reducing gang violence and transforming the country from one of the world’s murder capitals to one of Latin America’s safest, continues to use aggressive tactics. The ongoing state of emergency has led to over 78,000 arrests, though rights groups criticize many as arbitrary, resulting in the release of about 7,000 due to lack of evidence.

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