SAN SALVADOR (AP) — El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele presented Thursday proposals to reorganize the political division and reduce the number of mayoralties in the country from 262 to 44, as well as cut the number of seats in Congress from 84 to 60 Unicameral.
“The municipalities will become districts, we will no longer have 262 mayors, nor 262 municipal councils, we will only have 44 mayors with their respective municipal councils,” said the president in his address to the nation.
“How is it possible that in a territory of 21,000 square kilometers we have 262 municipalities?” stated the president.
Bukele pointed out that the measure will reduce the tax burden and announced that the municipal rates will remain unchanged. He also stated that, with the change, the identities of the municipalities would not disappear, which would become districts.
In his speech for his fourth year in office, Bukele also ratified his “declaration of war” against corruption and as a first step confirmed that the Prosecutor’s Office is currently raiding all the properties of former President Alfredo Cristiani, who ruled the country from 1989 to 1994. .
In March 2022, a court in San Salvador issued an arrest warrant and provisional detention against Cristiani for the crime of “commission by omission” in the case of the murder of six Jesuit priests and their two collaborators, which was perpetrated by a unit army elite on November 16, 1989 at the facilities of the José Simeón Cañas Central American University (UCA).
Cristiani left the country and his whereabouts are unknown. Minutes after the judge’s decision, one of her daughters posted a letter from the former president on Twitter, in which she assures that she was unaware of the plans to assassinate the priests.
The accusation against Cristiani and 12 other people occurred after the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice revoked in January 2022 a resolution of the Criminal Chamber, which ordered the closure of the judicial process on the grounds that the case had prescribed.
The Prosecutor’s Office argues that, in his capacity as General Commander of the Armed Forces and according to the military chain of command, Cristiani had the ability to make the final decision regarding the execution of the military operation that resulted in the death of the priests.