Tag Archives: Canada

Canadian Authorities Find They Are Unable to Seize Bitcoin Donations Made to Freedom Convoy Protesters

Arsenio Toledo
March 25th, 2022

The Canadian government is attempting to seize all of the funds raised by the anti-Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown and vaccine mandate Freedom Convoy protesters. Unfortunately for them, they are having a hard time retrieving donations made through cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

The measures taken by Canada to suppress the Freedom Convoy protests are considered unprecedented for a supposedly democratic nation. This included the freezing of bank accounts of organizers and individual protesters and the seizing of donations made through crowdfunding websites like GoFundMe. (Related: Canadian government freezes single mom’s bank account after she donated $50 to the Freedom Convoy.)

This is why many organizers and supporters of the Freedom Convoy increasingly turned to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, believing that their detachment from fiat money and Big Tech platforms made them more difficult, if not impossible, to seize by authorities.

According to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and other police services in the province of Ontario, the Freedom Convoy received 20.7 bitcoins ($915,050).

Around 14.6 bitcoins are already considered irretrievable, as they have already been distributed to 101 individual wallets through an intermediary.

According to cryptocurrency transaction trackers, 101 individual wallets received 0.144 bitcoins ($6,360) each, transferred through an intermediary. The roughly 5.964 bitcoins ($263,400) that remained were seized by Canadian authorities and confiscated.

Cryptocurrencies more resilient against government seizure attempts

Back in February, a Canadian judge ordered all digital wallets that held cryptocurrency donations meant for Freedom Convoy organizers to be frozen. Only one wallet provider, Nunchuk, refused the order.

According to Nunchuk, the company designed its systems to make it impossible to freeze users or prevent their assets from being moved or accessed.

“We do not hold any keys,” wrote the company. “Therefore, we cannot freeze our users’ assets. We cannot prevent them from being moved. We do not have knowledge of the existence, nature, value and location of our users’ assets. This is by design.”

Monique Jilesen, a lawyer involved in a class-action lawsuit against the Freedom Convoy organizers, said the government is still able to trace which wallets are receiving the donations. But she lamented the fact that as the bitcoins move from wallet to wallet, it gets harder to seize the funds.

“I presume, although I don’t know, in part, that was done in order to distribute the wallets,” she said. “They’ve taken one big wallet, moved it into hundreds of smaller wallets and then they hand the passwords to that smaller wallet to the ultimate recipient.”

The RCMP refused to comment on the case, but it said in a statement to CBC News that it still has the power to seize digital currency assets.

“As part of its capabilities and plans to tackle crypto crime and track crime-related transactions, the RCMP generally uses a variety of police procedures, as well as collaborating with applicable law enforcement partners,” read the RCMP’s statement.

But Mathew Burgoyne, a Canadian digital currency law expert, claimed that it will be much more complicated for the government to freeze and confiscate bitcoin wallets belonging to unknown holders.

“The limitation is that the crypto can simply be transferred to another wallet address that’s not frozen,” said Burgoyne. “And then another address that’s not frozen, and it can continue to be transferred in an effort to obscure the original source, or in an effort to remove the funds as much as possible from the wallet that was frozen.”

Watch this video as “Vaccine Choice Canada” hosts a panel of experts who attempt to answer the question: Is cryptocurrency the answer to the Canadian government’s penchant for freezing the bank accounts of COVID-19 lockdown and mandate protesters?

Justin Trudeau Boasts about ‘successful’ Trip to Europe Despite Getting Called a Dictator to His Face

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz
March 25, 2022

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement on Friday, wherein he gave himself a self-congratulatory pat on the back, calling the trip “successful.”

The prime minister was criticized by European politicians over his record on human rights abuses after he delivered a low-energy speech to a quarter-full auditorium of European politicians.

“The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today successfully concluded his trip to Brussels, Belgium. The Prime Minister addressed the European Parliament, and participated in an extraordinary North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit and a G7 Heads of State and Government Meeting,” the statement says.

It would continue: “… On March 23, the Prime Minister addressed the European Parliament where he condemned President Putin’s war of choice and reaffirmed Canada’s steadfast commitment to Euro-Atlantic security, including by calling for further coordinated strong support for Ukraine in response to Russia’s aggression. He spoke of the need to continue working together to promote international peace and security and defend democracy. During his address, the Prime Minister highlighted the close partnership between Canada and the European Union based on our shared values.”

The prime minister‘s speech also included criticism of Canada’s Freedom Convoy organizers, calling them populists who preyed on Canadians’ anxieties.

“Even in Canada, where 90 percent of people are vaccinated, and our motto as a country ‘peace, order, and good government,’ we saw anti-vaccine and anti-government protest evolve into illegal occupations of our communities and blockades of our borders,” said Trudeau, who added that the leaders of the convoys were “effective in turning citizens with real anxieties against the system best suited to allay those concerns.”

Following Trudeau’s speech, European politicians criticized the prime minister to his face, saying he was acting like a dictator.

Mislav Kolakusic from Croatia accused Trudeau of conducting “a dictatorship of the worst kind,” specifically calling out Trudeau for figuratively trampling on the rights of Canadians, as well as literally having horses trample women during the Freedom Convoy protests.

MEP Christine Anderson of Germany told the prime minister that he was a “disgrace to any democracy.” Anderson criticized Trudeau for violating “democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.”

“A prime minister who openly admires the Chinese basic dictatorship, who tramples on human rights, by persecuting and criminalizing his own citizens as terrorists, because they dare stand up to his perverted concept of democracy, should not be allowed to speak in this House at all. Mr. Trudeau, you are a disgrace for any democracy, please spare us your presence,” said the MEP, to applause.

Canadian Banks Say Freedom Convoy Backers’ Frozen Accounts Will Be Flagged for Life

Jack Bingham
March 8th, 2022

OTTAWA (LifeSiteNews) — Freedom Convoy supporters whose bank accounts were frozen will be flagged for life.

The personal accounts of protesters that were locked after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act have been permanently marked, the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) revealed at the House of Commons finance committee meeting on Monday.

According to Blacklock’s Reporter, bankers also explained that they froze accounts corresponding to 257 names that were not on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) blacklist provided to the banks, meaning they went beyond the scope of what the government asked of them.

“We primarily relied upon the names provided by the RCMP, but there were obligations under the order separate that required banks to make their own determinations,” Angelina Mason, general counsel for the Bankers Association, testified to the finance committee on Monday.

“Were there accounts of individuals frozen that did not appear on a list of names submitted by banks to the RCMP?” New Democrat Member of Parliament (MP) Daniel Blaikie asked.

“Yes,” Mason replied.

“Once an account is frozen and eventually unfrozen, are there any permanent markers or indications on a client’s file that would indicate they have had their accounts previously frozen?” Conservative MP Adam Chambers queried.

“There would be something in the file indicating a freeze had taken place,” Mason affirmed.

In response to other questions, Mason confirmed that if a person whose name was flagged by the RCMP had a joint account with someone whose name did not appear on the RCMP’s blacklist, the banks froze the account anyway, cutting both parties off from accessing their funds.

Mason added that even in the event that some of these accounts were illegitimately or unnecessarily frozen, there was “immunity provided” in the Emergencies Act that shields the banks from any legal consequences.

The Freedom Convoy protest, which consisted of thousands of protesters and hundreds of trucks, clogged the downtown core of Canada’s capital of Ottawa for just over three weeks, from the end of January until mid-February.

The stated goal of the protest was to get Canadian governments to rescind the mandates they had imposed during the so-called COVID pandemic, with supporters of the protest saying the measures taken to fight the virus were largely unnecessary, harmful, and unconstitutional.

When the convoy of trucks and their supporters were first making their way to Ottawa, Trudeau maligned the diverse group of Canadians as a “fringe minority” with “unacceptable views” while also suggesting many of the demonstrators were Nazi sympathizers and racists.

Despite the size and length of the protest, police reports indicate that the movement was overwhelming peaceful and non-violent, but was nonetheless met with Trudeau invoking the never-before-used Emergencies Act, granting him the power to use federal police to forcibly end the protest while compelling financial institutions to freeze the bank accounts of anyone involved in financing the protest without a court order.

Trudeau’s harsh actions against the protesters were met with widespread criticism from international figures on both the political right and the political left.

Conservative FoxNews host Tucker Carlson accused Trudeau of turning Canada into a “dictatorship” after he granted himself the emergency powers, and prominent left-wing comedian Bill Maher likened Trudeau’s anti-protester rhetoric to the discriminatory and hateful language used by Adolf Hitler.

Since the Freedom Convoy protest, many provinces decided to move in the direction the protesters desired by phasing out or outright axing their vaccine mandates, vaccine passports, and mandatory indoor masking policies. However, Trudeau’s federal government has still held on to the vaccine mandate for all interprovincial air travelers, mandatory quarantining for unvaccinated Canadians entering Canada, and the requirement that all employees of the federal government be fully vaccinated.

Trudeau’s Approval Ratings CRASH Following Freedom Convoy Protests In Newly Released Poll

Adam Wilson
March 5th, 2022

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did everything he could to shut down the Freedom Convoy protesters; from declaring a state of emergency, to seizing money they fundraised, to sending the police in to use physical force against them.

Trudeau is still dealing with the political fallout from how he handled the Freedom Convoy demonstration, with a vast majority of voters disapproving of his handling of the situation and his overall approval rating dipping significantly.  The Gateway Pundit Reports

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party approval rating has reached its lowest point in nearly a year, following Trudeau’s crackdown on “Freedom Convoy” protestors in February, according to a Tuesday poll from Nanos Research.

Nanos Research, a public opinion and polling company based out of Ottawa, Canada, released a poll showing that Trudeau’s liberal party was facing its lowest approval rating in nearly 12 months, according to the Wall Street Journal. Trudeau’s remarks towards those who challenged his COVID-19 health policies came under fire from members of his own party, who considered them disdainful, the outlet reported.

A separate Nanos poll found that 47% of Canadians’ impression of Trudeau was “worsened” by the Prime Minister’s “handling of the Truckers Convoy Protest.” Comparatively, 20% said it improved their impression of Trudeau while 31% said it had “no impact,” the poll found. An additional 2% were “unsure” of how their impressions were affected.

Last month, a group chat was leaked that showed police actively take joy in brutalizing Freedom Convoy demonstrators.  In what is alleged to be an RCMP group chat, police officers made jokes about protesters hearing their ‘jackboots on the ground’.

One officer seemed excited at the chance to beat up protesters, saying that he hopes protests are still going on next week so he can ‘get his turn’ in a text sent the weekend before police began using violence against the mostly peaceful demonstrators.

WEF “Infiltration”: Rogan Redpilled, Canadian MP Cut Off For Asking — Accused Of Spreading “Disinformation”

Last month, 2017 footage of World Economic Forum (WEF) head Klaus Schwab resurfaced in which he boasts of having ‘penetrated’ various governments through its Young Global Leaders program. The clip is notable because the WEF – known best for its annual gathering of the global elite in Davos – has been openly pushing for digital IDs and vaccine passports, while leaders of said governments continue to impose Orwellian vaccine mandates which have resulted in widespread protests for medical freedom.

“I have to say, when I mention now names, like Mrs. (Angela) Merkel and even Vladimir Putin, and so on, they all have been Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum … But what we are very proud of now is the young generation like Prime Minister (Justin) Trudeau … We penetrate the cabinets.”

“So yesterday I was at a reception for Prime Minister Trudeau and I know that half of his cabinet, or even more than half of his cabinet, are actually Young Global Leaders.” -Klaus Schwab

Watch:

Other notable Young Global Leaders include: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda “this will never end” Ardern, French President Emmanuel Macron, and other high-ranking officials from Germany, Finland, Greece, the Netherlands and Denmark. It might even explain Pete Buttigieg’s odd success-to-competence ratio.

Enter the pandemic

Three years after Schwab bragged about having ‘penetrated cabinets’ of world governments, he wrote in a June 2020 publication titled Now is the time for a ‘great reset’ how the pandemic presented a “rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world to create a healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous future.”

Then in May 2021, the WEF acknowledged that “The Forum is involved in the WHO task force to reflect on those [vaccine credential requirements] standards and think about how they would be used.”

And so, given the WEF’s “infiltration” – people have begun asking questions over the group’s influence in current events.

Podcaster Joe Rogan appeared shocked at the WEF’s ‘infiltration’ in a recent episode of with Maajid Nawaz.

Meanwhile, Canadian MP Collin Carrie was cut off when asking about the influence of the WEF in domestic politics.

“Klaus Schwab is the head of the World Economic Forum and bragged about how his WEF has infiltrated governments around the world,” asked Carrie, who was then cut off when he asked which ministers were behind the WEF agenda – with the speaker saying the sound had become “very poor.”

Another MP then accused Carrie of “disinformation.”

Watch:

Ahem, explain this:

All names of those included;

1.Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister of Canada

2.Francois Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs

3.Brian Gallant, Leader of New Brunswick Liberal Party

4.Terry Beech, department of fisheries, oceans and Canadian coast guard

5.Ailish Campbell, Chief Trade Commissioner, Global Affairs Canada

6.Michelle Rempel Garner (conservatives)

7. NDP leader Jagmeet Singh

8.Renee Maria Tremblay, Supreme Court Of Canada, Senior counsel

9.Elissa Golberg – Minister for strategic policy, Global Affairs Canada

10.Karina Gould – Minister of International Development, Global Affairs Canada

11. Melanie Joly – Minister of economic development and official languages, science and economic development

12.Maryam Monsef – ministry for women , Gender equality and rural economic development

As Jeremy Loffredo and Max Blumenthal wrote last October:

On paper, the WEF (also known as the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation) is an NGO and think tank “committed to improving the state of the world.” In reality, it is an international network of some of the wealthiest and most influential people on the planet. The Forum positions itself as the thought leader of global capitalism.

The organization is best known for its annual gathering of the global ruling class. Each year, hedge fund managers, bankers, CEOs, media representatives, and heads of state gather in Davos to “shape global, regional and industry agendas.” As Foreign Affairs put it, “the WEF has no formal authority, but it has become the major forum for elites to discuss policy ideas and priorities.”

In 2017, German economist and WEF founder Klaus Schwab introduced the concept of The Fourth Industrial Revolution” with the title of the book he published that year. The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) denotes the current “technological revolution” that is changing the way people “live, work, and relate to one another,” and with implications “unlike anything humankind has experienced,” according to Schwab.
For him, the 4IR is the “merging of the physical, digital and biological worlds.” Schwab has even said that the 4IR will inevitably veer into trans-humanism, or human genome editing.

Not Going to Be a ‘Punching Bag’ for the Police: Freedom Convoy Spokesman Announces Peaceful Withdrawal From Ottawa

Isaac Teo and Limin Zhou
February 21st, 2022
Via the Epoch Times

OTTAWA—As police in Ottawa escalated operations for the second day in a row against the trucker protest opposed to the government’s COVD-19 mandates, a spokesperson for the movement, dubbed “Freedom Convoy,” called for a peaceful withdrawal, saying they are not going to be a “punching bag for law enforcement.”

Speaking at a press conference at the Lord Elgin Hotel in downtown Ottawa on Feb. 19, retired Canadian military officer Tom Marazzo said many truckers feel that the best course of action for them and their families is to withdraw in order to avoid further harm.

“As a movement, we have chosen to peacefully withdraw from the streets of Ottawa. There is nothing to be gained by being brutalized by police,” Marazzo said.

Police began escalating their operation against the protesters in Ottawa on Feb. 18, announcing mid-morning Feb. 20 that they have thus far made 191 arrests and had 57 vehicles towed away. Mounted police and officers on foot advanced on demonstrators, with horses knocking down protesters in some instances.

Some police officers were heavily armed, including with assault rifles and what appeared to be rubber bullet launchers. Some wielded batons and pepper spray, while some smashed truck windows to remove truckers from their vehicles.

GettyImages-1238619499
A police officer smashes a truck window as police deploy to remove protesters in Ottawa, Canada, on Feb. 19, 2022. (Dave Chan/AFP via Getty Images)

“It’s a dark day in our history,” Marazzo said. “Never in life would I believe anyone if they told me that our prime minister would refuse dialogue and choose violence against peaceful protesters.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has continued to refuse to meet with the organizers of the trucker convoy, which arrived in Ottawa on Jan. 28 and 29.

The convoy began as a protest by truck drivers opposed to the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for their cross-border travel. It turned into a much larger movement after many Canadians from across the country began joining in or voicing their support for ending the various COVID-19 mandates and restrictions.

Prior to the convoy’s arrival in Ottawa, at a press conference on Jan. 26 Trudeau dismissed the protesters as a “small fringe minority … who are holding unacceptable views.”

On Feb. 14, Trudeau became the first prime minister in Canada to invoke the Emergencies Act, aiming to use it as a means to quash the protest in Ottawa and similar ones in other parts of the country.

“The Emergencies Act will be used to strengthen and support law enforcement agencies at all levels across the country. This is about keeping Canadians safe, protecting people’s jobs, and restoring confidence in our institutions,” Trudeau said at a press conference on Feb. 14.

“The police will be given more tools to restore order in places where public assemblies can constitute illegal and dangerous activities such as blockades and occupations as seen in Ottawa, Ambassador Bridge, and elsewhere.”

Ottawa police called the protest in Ottawa “unlawful.”

Several of the Freedom Convoy organizers have been arrested, including Chris Barber and Tamara Lich on Feb. 17. Daniel Bulford, a former RCMP officer who was coordinating security for the protest, was arrested on Feb. 18 and later released without charge.

Marazzo, who isn’t aware whether there is a warrant for his arrest, said the protest in Ottawa has not engaged in any illegal activity.

“There was no damage. There was a little inconvenient noise, I’m sorry, but we’re here fighting for all the people that actually hate us too,” he said.

The retired officer criticized what he described as the “mainstream media” that has portrayed the protesters as being “anti-government,” noting that the convoy organizers have been trying to establish a dialogue with the federal government but have had no success.

“I want to be very clear that our intent has always been, and always will be, to talk to the official government of Canada,” he said. “I have stood at this podium, I have done other media events where I have outlined a plan, and I’ve said ‘I would like to talk to you.’”

“The response was, riot police—no discussion, no dialogue.”

NTD Photo
(L–R) Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms lawyer Keith Wilson and Freedom Convoy organizers Chris Barber and Tamara Lich hold a press conference in Ottawa on Feb. 3., 2022. (Gerry Smith/NTD)

During a press conference on Feb. 17, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino diverted his reply when a Francophone reporter asked whether the government has received intelligence that weapons were being brought to Ottawa or were already in Ottawa with the convoy, something the minister had been “insinuating for days,” according to the reporter

“I am not saying that there is an intelligence saying there are weapons in Ottawa,” Mendicino said. “There are public reports showing that there are indications that there [are] extremist ideological positions and there is a link between the blockades.”

He added that “there is a similarity in the rhetoric emerging in social media and elsewhere.”

At another press conference on Feb. 17, Bruce Pardy, law professor and executive director of Rights Probe, said Mendicino’s reply meant that the basis for the government’s actions was “rhetoric.”

“This is a government that has invoked an emergency statute on its own admission on the basis of something that somebody has said,” Pardy said. “They have no actual violence occurring. They have no intelligence about threats of violence occurring.”

Marazzo said the attempt by the federal government to “intimidate” the Freedom Convoy is futile as it is a grassroots movement, which if removed, “others will fill their roles.”

“You could say that we inspired people to actually take action, but we certainly were not giving any direction,” he said. “These movements are just organic. They pop up where people want to get up and do something because they’re fed up after two years of being treated like this.”

Marazzo said legal counsel and support for those injured and those being arrested by police is currently being organized. He added that “the truckers will be initiating a charter challenge seeking to have the court strike down the unconstitutional vaccine mandates that discriminate against us all.”

“I never thought I’d see the day when law enforcement officers would be arresting citizens for the crime of exercising their charter rights and freedoms to free assembly and free speech,” he said.

Marazzo also confirmed that his bank account has been frozen and credit cards cancelled. His spouse’s credit score also dropped 109 points on Feb. 18 even though she was not with him in Ottawa, he said.

At a press conference on Feb. 14, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said that under the Emergencies Act, the government has authorized banks to cut off services to both individuals and business clients who they suspect are aiding the blockades.

In a media briefing on Feb. 19, Interim Chief Steve Bell of the Ottawa Police Service said the Ottawa police will pursue the protesters even after the protest is over.

“If you are involved in this protest, we will actively look to identify you and follow up with financial sanctions and criminal charges. Absolutely. This investigation will go on for months to come,” he said.

Marazzo said the grassroots movement will regroup and plan their next move. “This is one battle in a larger war for our freedoms,” he said.

He added that all members of Parliament at the federal level have “failed us.”

“We elected these people to represent our best interest, but not to lord over us like kings and queens,” he said.

“Can you hear democracy? Democracy is dead now. It rings louder than the truckers’ horns.”

Limin Zhou and Noé Chartier contributed to this report.

Ottawa Police Chief Resigns

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz
February 15th, 2022

The CBC reported that Sloly resigned due to accusations of bullying and volatile behaviour. The police chief made a public announcement later Tuesday.

“It has been a difficult journey, but I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished,” said Sloly in a statement.

“Since the onset of this demonstration, I have done everything possible to keep this city safe and put an end to this unprecedented and unforeseeable crisis,” he said.

Last week, Sloly said that there was “absolutely [no]” plans to resign as police chief, telling Newstalk 580 CFRA that he “came here to do a job.”

“I came here to do a job and I’m going to get that job done all the way through,” he said, according to CTV News. “Absolutely committed, have a great team here, great officers, we’ve got great partners in the city. We’re going to get this done.”

Sloly was chief of police with the Ottawa Police Service since October 28, 2019

The police chief was criticized last week by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms’ John Carpay, who highlighted the police force’s efforts to work with GoFundMe to remove funds from the Freedom Convoy truckers.

“Chief Sloly publicly accuses the truckers of engaging in ‘unlawful’ and ‘harmful’ activities, and of promoting ‘hatred’ and ‘violence,'” but provides no examples, facts, or arrests to support his accusations,” wrote Carpay.

“The Chief calls for ‘order’ to be ‘restored’ even though ‘order’ has not been lost. His fact-free rhetoric includes mention of an ‘increasingly volatile’ and ‘increasingly dangerous situation’. As though speaking for an oppressive regime, Chief Sloly has repeatedly called for an ‘end’ to the exercise of the fundamental Charter freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly by Canadians in their own capital city,” he wrote.

El Salvador President on Ukraine: ‘The Real War Is in Canada’

JOHN HAYWARD
February 15th, 2022

Nayib Bukele, the president of El Salvador, said on Sunday the crisis in Ukraine is just a distraction, while the “real war” of interest to free people around the world is being fought over authoritarian coronavirus mandates in Europe, Canada, and the United States.

Bukele was especially horrified by footage of French riot police rolling in armored vehicles against a protest styled after Canada’s Freedom Convoy demonstrations:

Bukele, whose government made headlines last year by becoming the first nation to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, also turns out to be a big fan of onetime presidential candidate, noted monetary policy critic, and anti-interventionist icon Ron Paul:

Bukele is a longtime critic of vaccination mandates, boasting in December that vaccines are “available for everyone, even tourists, including boosters,” but his administration has imposed no vaccine mandates, passports, or testing requirements.

“Everybody makes their own choice,” he said. “So far, over 70 percent have been vaccinated.”

El Salvador began receiving AstraZeneca vaccines through the United Nations and World Health Organization-sponsored COVAX program in March 2021. As of February 2021, roughly 78 percent of the population has been vaccinated, based on usage statistics.

Bukele is quick to call out authoritarian behavior in North America and Europe, perhaps because he has been accused of authoritarianism himself, so he views his critics as hypocrites. For example, in February 2020 Bukele sent troops into the El Salvadoran parliament to pressure lawmakers into voting for a bill that would fund his programs against gang violence.

Critics such as Human Rights Watch condemned Bukele’s administration as a “slide into authoritarianism,” an accusation he angrily rejects, insisting his policies have strong support from the people, and his hardball tactics are necessary to reform the corrupt systems of El Salvador.