Every so often, it's not just the outfit that makes the dictator, it's the circumstances too. So says Eva Orduña Trujillo, a specialist from UNAM's Research Center on Latin America and the Caribbean. She argues that Nayib Bukele's landslide re-election victory in El Salvador isn't just about that oh-so-trendy backwards baseball cap; it's a result of a perfect storm of dodgy politicians, social angst, and a democracy about as solid as a wet tortilla.
Let's unpack that, shall we? El Salvador is a country riddled with “cancerous” youth gangs, explains Orduña Trujillo. This made life unbearable for citizens, a situation Bukele vowed to solve. Like moths to the populist flame, people flocked to the self-styled savior for protection, even as El Salvador's flimsy democracy and Constitution got thrown under the bus in the process.