El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele announced the launch of the fifth "security fence" in the country. It is composed of 7,000 soldiers and 1,000 police officers who will remain deployed - and will surround - the entire department of Cabañas (a region located in the center of the country).
Bukele assured that as a result of his "war against gangs," the region of Cabañas "has become the place with the highest number of terrorist cells who have arrived there looking for rural areas to hide in. Therefore, the military siege is aimed at "preventing gang members from leaving the department and cutting off all supply lines of the terrorist groups.
He added that the siege "will be maintained as long as the operations can extract all the gang members" and assured that the residents of the region, "its visitors and tourists can be calm and carry out their activities normally."
Desde esta madrugada, 7000 soldados y 1000 policías han establecido un cerco de seguridad alrededor de todo el departamento de Cabañas.
Su labor será evitar la salida de pandilleros del departamento y cortar todas las líneas de suministro de los grupos terroristas. pic.twitter.com/qlNQMAJcIE
— Nayib Bukele (@nayibbukele) August 1, 2023
The fifth security fence
Although the Salvadoran government has previously carried out military encirclements in other areas of the country, this is the first one that covers the extension of an entire vicinity. Cabañas has a population of just over 150,000 residents and is an agricultural region.
The criticism Bukele has received for his anti-crime measures does not stop his plans to end crime in the country. The president defends his management with data. His plans have resulted in the arrest of more than 71,000 criminal gang members since 2022 (when he proclaimed a state of emergency "for reasons of citizen security").