On Sunday, several thousands of protesters were on the streets in El Salvador. Citizens from diverse groups joined in. They were protesting against the recent adaptation of the Bitcoin as legal currency as well as against the judicial policies of the Bukele government. The government dismissed the protests as insignificant. Protesters burnt a doll that looked like the President near the main square in the capital.
According to a report by Reuters more than 4,000 people participated in the protests as per local media estimates. Al Jazeera reported on the diversity of the protesters which included people from
human rights groups.
The protesters carried different banners and placards as they protested for different causes. Some of them carried messages that decried the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender while others were opposing the possibility of Bukele seeking a second consecutive term.
The placards stated:
“Bitcoin is fraud”
“No to dictatorship”
“Democracy is not up for negotiation, it is defended”
In May, the 40-year old president’s New Ideas party obtained a majority in Congress and decided to fire judges on the constitutional panel of the Supreme Court, These were some of the most senior judges in the Central American nation.
The judges were replaced by those who were friendly to the Bukele government. This move had been criticized by the opposition as well as the U.S. and several international human rights organizations.
Bukele who is social media savvy brushed aside the protests and posted on Twitter, “The march is a failure and they know it.” Earlier in September, on Twitter, he called himself “dictator” on his account in an apparent joke after he faced criticism about concentrating power on himself.
In September, El Salvador became the first country in the world to accept Bitcoin as legal tender along with the US dollar. However, the move towards the crypto currency was beset with issues.Some people are still against the move and consider it to be a flawed economic policy.
Image Credit Jacobo Garcia