El Salvador Basic Information

By | July 21, 2022

Basic information about the territory

El Salvador Basic Information

Subchapters:

  • System of governance and political tendencies in the country
  • Foreign policy of the country
  • Population

The system of governance and political tendencies in the country

Official name of the country:  Republic of El Salvador (República de El Salvador)
President: Nayib Armando Bukele Ortez (in office since 01/06/2019)

According to the 1983 Constitution, El Salvador is a country with a pluralistic political system. The population is represented in the government through political parties. The executive power in El Salvador is held by the president of the republic (he is the head of state and the head of government), who is elected by direct vote for a term of office of five years. The president has a cabinet of ministers that he appoints and is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Legislative power is represented by the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador (unicameral), which consists of 84 deputies. The judiciary is controlled by the Supreme Court, which consists of 15 judges. Check diseaseslearning to learn more about El Salvador political system.

Administratively, the state territory is divided into 14 departments and 262 autonomous municipalities, in each of the departments a governor elected by the executive power has power. These governors perform administrative tasks, the main function of which is to serve as a link between the government and local political bodies. At the same time, they take care of the needs of local communities in cooperation with the Directorate of Civil Protection of the Ministry of the Interior (Protección Civil del Ministerio de Governación).

Composition of the government:

  • Vice President of the Republic – Félix Augusto Antonio Ulloa Garay
  • Minister of the Interior – Juan Carlos Bidegain Hananía
  • Minister of Finance – Alejandro Zelaya
  • Minister of Justice and Security – Héctor Gustavo Villatoro
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs – Juana Alexandra Hill Tinoco
  • Minister of Defense – René Francis Merino Monroy
  • Minister of Economy – María Luisa Hayem Breve
  • Minister of Health – Francisco José Alabí Montoya
  • Minister of Agriculture – Enrique José Parada Rivas
  • Minister of Education, Science and Technology – José Mauricio Pineda Rodríguez
  • Minister of Public Works and Transport – Edgar Romeo Rodríguez Herrera
  • Minister of Labor and Social Affairs – Óscar Rolando Castro
  • Minister of Environment and Natural Resources – Fernando Andrés López Larreynaga
  • Minister of Tourism – Morena Ileana Valdez Vigil
  • Minister of Culture – Mariemm Eunice Pleitez Quiñonez
  • Minister of Housing and Urban Development – Michelle Sol
  • Minister of Regional Development – María Ofelia Navarrete de Dubon

Political tendencies
President Nayib Bukele has been trying to maximize and maintain his power in El Salvador for a long time, and it can be expected that he will continue with these tendencies. The most pressing current topics are the country’s high indebtedness and security. In late March 2022, President Bukele declared a state of emergency due to a spike in murders and declared war on gangs operating in El Salvador, arresting tens of thousands of alleged gang members in the following weeks. The next months of 2022 will be devoted in El Salvador to finding a solution to the country’s high debt, as the principal of the bond amounting to USD 800 million is due to be repaid in early 2023. The government of El Salvador has been negotiating with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan of billion USD for many months, but the IMF refuses to provide finance until Bitcoin is legal tender in El Salvador.

Foreign policy of the country

Although the US is the main political and trade partner of El Salvador, with regard to the authoritarian tendencies of President Bukele, relations between the two countries have cooled relatively in the past year. Although Bukele managed to establish friendly relations with former President Donald Trump, mainly thanks to his agreement to accept asylum seekers returned from the US borders, however, the cultivation of relations with the new President Joe Biden is not very successful. The Biden administration is increasingly critical of President Bukele’s policies, especially after the replacement of judges and the attorney general and the subsequent Supreme Court ruling on the possible re-election of the president. Mutual relations are also not helped by Bukele’s decision not to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The US is home to million Salvadorans, whose remittances contribute significantly to the development of the Salvadoran economy. Check themotorcyclers for El Salvador defense and foreign policy.

With regard to the growing contradictions between Bukel and the USA, relations between El Salvador and China are gradually deepening. China has been trying to exert its influence in Central America for a long time and is slowly succeeding in some areas. El Salvador established diplomatic relations with China in 2019 (until then it maintained diplomatic relations with Taiwan), while in 2021 Chinese supplies of vaccines and significant investments in infrastructure contributed to the improvement of mutual relations.

Population

Number of inhabitants and population density:
According to the latest estimates, million inhabitants live in El Salvador (2021), the population density is 309 inhabitants/km 2 (2021), which is the highest in all of Latin America. About million inhabitants are economically active and about 72% of the total population lives in cities (2019).

Demographic composition:
The largest group of the population consists of mestizos (86.3%), followed by whites (12.7%), Indians (1%).

Official Language:
The official language of El Salvador is Spanish. Some local communities still speak their indigenous languages. Indigenous languages ​​in El Salvador include Nahuatl, Pipil, Q’eqchi and Cacaopera. Many of the local population can communicate in English, English has been taught in schools for over 50 years thanks to migrants from Great Britain. The second most widely spoken language in schools is French.

Religion:
In the country, the majority of the population professes the Roman Catholic religion (56.6%), Protestant – evangelicals (27.9%), the religion of Indian population groups is also represented, as well as Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons.