SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) – President Nayib Bukele and a group of soldiers armed with automatic weapons briefly occupied El Salvador’s Congress on Sunday, stepping up a pressure campaign to force lawmakers to back a crime-fighting plan. Watched by soldiers in full battle uniform, Bukele, 38, sat in the seat reserved for the president of Congress and cupped his hands together to pray, he said, for patience with lawmakers, few of whom turned up at the special session. “If those shameless people don’t approve the plan of territorial control, we’ll summon you here again (next) Sunday,” he told supporters in a fiery speech outside, as he left the building. Lawmakers were due to meet on Monday to discuss the president’s proposals, Congress president Mario Ponce said, in a possible sign of de-escalation. Critics warned of a looming constitutional crisis, however. Human Rights Watch, a U.S.-based group, called the event “an exhibition of brute force” and said the Organization of American States should urgently meet to discuss the situation. Bukele won office last year after a savvy social media campaign feeding off popular discontent with two parties that had ruled the Central American country since the end of a civil war. Channeling… Read full this story
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