Camilo Freedman—Zuma Press/Alamy

On Aug. 23, El Faro, the Salvadoran newspaper where I am an editor, published an investigation into negotiations between President Nayib Bukele’s government and El Salvador’s gangs. The President dismissed the report in a tweet and later baselessly accused El Faro of lying.

This is the talent of a President who has brooked no criticism or opposition. In 2020, Bukele came to parliament surrounded by armed soldiers in order to pressure lawmakers to approve his budget. This May, he ordered the removal of the Supreme Court’s judges—and now, the new appointees have ruled that Presidents can serve two consecutive terms.

The government’s assault on El Faro—which also includes my expulsion from the country in July—aims to punish the paper for the sin of trying to deliver the best information to people. To Bukele, the government’s words are unquestionable, and anyone who says otherwise is first burned on social media and later, if they continue down their path, dealt with by the authorities.

Lizárraga is a journalist

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