El Salvador president cut murder rate 50%, affirms faith in Jesus

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Bukele ChristianBy Daniela Argueta –

El Salvador’s new president Nayib Bukele cut the homicide rate by 50% in his first year of tenure, and he did it by locking up all MS-13 gangbangers.

“The best thing that happened to us as a nation was to get rid of those rapists and murderers, and let the good people thrive.” tweeted Bukele in October of 2023. His drastic and civil-liberties-suspending crackdown has won wide admiration for the Christian president.

Weary of politicians who make promises only to gain power and siphon off money from the country’s coffers, people in surrounding countries also want someone like him in power. Memes originating from Guatemala offered anything in exchange for him to govern their country. Even a survey in Colombia found 55% of respondents want a Bukele-type president.

Bukele Christian
Gang members in the Terrorist Confinement Center

It’s been more than 30 years since Central America was wracked by communist-funded guerilla warfare only to settle into a time of peace characterized by widespread government corruption and drug trafficking.

Bukele represents a clean break from the deep-seated corruption that has plagued the countries. His crackdowns have brought a needed relief to populations from the reign of terror as organized crime and gangs demand mafia-style protection payments.

Nayib Armando Bukele (pronounced: Boo-KAY-lay) was born to chemical engineer and businessman Armando Bukele and Olga Ortez on July 24, 1985 in San Salvador, El Salvador. Adding to the aura surrounding this highly lauded president is the fact that he’s part Palestinian, yet he visited Israel to throw his moral support behind the Jewish people.

His paternal grandparents were Palestinian Christians born in Bethlehem. His maternal grandparents also were Christians, specifically Catholic and Greek Orthodox. But his father became a Muslim and moved to Central America.

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Bukele in Jerusalem

About his own faith, Bukele said in 2015 (circumspectly, as a politician): “Personally, I am not a person who believes much in the liturgy of religions. However, I believe in God, in Jesus Christ. I believe in his word, I believe in his word revealed in the Holy Bible. And I know that God does not reject anyone because of their origins.”

Bukele went to the Central American University in San Salvador to study law, but dropped out to start his own company at 18 years old and take charge of his family’s business.

In 2012, he campaigned politically and was elected mayor of Nuevo Cuscatlan located in the department of La Libertad. He provided scholarships for all students with a GPA above 3.5 to attend any university in El Salvador and saw homicide rates go down during his tenure to only one reported.

In December 2014, Bukele married psychologist and educator Gabriela Rodriguez, of whom he told the mayor of Jerusalem she is of “Jewish Sephardic blood.”

In Nuevo Cuscatlan, things got done, unlike other elected officials in El Salvador. He got noticed.

Bukele MS-13In 2015, he ran for mayor in the nation’s capital, San Salvador and won.

In 2019, he ran for president of the nation and won easily. He was the youngest Salvadoran to arrive at the presidency.

Since instituting his anti-gang “Plan for Territorial Control,” homicides plummeted from 1,147 in 2021 to 496 in 2022.

Not everyone is thrilled with Bukele’s drastic zero tolerance for gangs. He’s been roundly criticized by liberal (traditional) media for “human rights violations,” the same media that doesn’t seem to care about average citizens living in constant fear.

He’s been called an autocrat, a caudillo, and a strongman by the liberal naysayers. In his dynamic and taunting style, Bukele has picked up on all the epithets and turned them in his favor, denominating himself “the coolest dictator in the world.” He enjoys an 87% approval rating in El Salvador.

Is Bukele christian?
Bukele and his family celebrating Christmas.

El Salvador, like most of Central America, suffers under the scourge of rival gang warfare between the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the 18th Street Gang. On March 26, 2022, 62 murders were committed by the two gangs, prompting Bukele to declare a state of emergency for 30 days. Police rounded up about gangbangers and the violence died down.

From being the “murder capital of the world,” San Salvador became the “safest place in Central America,” Bukele boasted.

He launched the construction of a new prison, a 40,000 capacity “Terrorism Confinement Center” in Tecoluca, set to open Jan. 31 of this year.

Bukele is not just the worst enemy of the criminal. He’s also worked to stave the flow of illegal immigration to the United States, adopted Bitcoin in his country, and opened a state-of-the-art National Library with an inspiring architecture design.

Bukele brought the Miss Universe pageant to El Salvador last year and the ISA World Surfing Games twice. He’s a surfer himself.

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Bukele at the Surf competition in his nation

There are doubters about Bukele’s faith. But at his inauguration, he invited popular Argentinian preacher Dante Gebel to pray. Gebel said:

“Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. And today the whole world is watching the Savior in this new season. For a long time in Latin America, we have neglected the word of God, and today we remember his words: if my people will humble themselves and pray, seek my face, and turn from their evil ways, I will hear from heaven and heal their land.

“It is for that reason that today we not only pray for the Savior, but for the entire region and recognize in the divine sovereignty that God allowed Nayib Bukele to guide this nation in this transcendental hour of history.”

If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here

About the writer of this article: Daniela Argueta studies at Lighthouse Christian Academy near Beverly Hills.

1 COMMENT

  1. What a blessing!! He cut the murder rate by half, by locking u0 gang members..well, it’s not rocket science is it! I’ve long said that all gangs should be illegal in my country. They murder, rape, steal, run drug rings etc. All of them. If it were illegal the problem here would be reduced about 80% my guess. How blessed El Salvador is to have this man as president; and this beautiful, intelligent first lady!

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