People in San Salvador, El Salvador. Editorial credit: bumihills /

El Salvador

Elections in El Salvador are largely credible and free. However, widespread corruption undermines democracy and the rule of law, and lack of physical security remains a grave problem. Authorities have pursued a harsh, militarized response to the country’s powerful criminal gangs, resulting in extrajudicial killings, mass arbitrary arrests, and other abuses. Members of the active civil society sector and dynamic press risk harassment and violence in connection with coverage of organized crime, corruption, and criticism of government policy.

Freedom in the World 2023

Freedom in the World — El Salvador Country Report

El Salvador is rated Partly Free in Freedom in the World 2023, Freedom House's annual study of political rights and civil liberties worldwide.