El Salvador Industry

The industrialization that began in the 1960s stopped during the war years 1980-1992. Since then, the industrial sector has recovered. It is today dominated by the export-oriented textile industry.

In order to create jobs in industry and attract foreign capital to the country, foreign manufacturers are offered favorable terms. Their factories, maquilas, have been established in tax-free areas and most of the production is exported to the United States in particular. The most important commodities are clothing and textiles, but there is also the manufacture of medicines, rubber, plastics and foodstuffs.

Maquilas industries have grown strongly since the downturn as a result of the global financial crisis in 2008. In 2012, around 80,000 people, the majority of women, worked in the sector, which accounts for about 40 percent of the country’s export earnings.

  • COUNTRYAAH: List of top trading partners of El Salvador. Includes countries that imported most shipments from and exported most goods to the country.

El Salvador



Trial in Jesuit for Spain

June 8

A trial begins in Madrid against a Salvadoran former colonel, Inocente Montano, who is suspected of having ordered the notable murder of six Jesuit priests and two other people in 1989 (see May 2012). Five of the priests were Spaniards. A man suspected of having committed the murders is a witness in the trial of Montano, a former deputy minister who is suspected to have been part of a right-wing extremist group that opposed peace talks with the left-wing FMLN. Montano was extradited to Spain from the United States in 2017, where he moved in 2002 and was sentenced to prison for migration offenses and imprisonment. El Salvador has so far refused to extradite other suspected officers in the case to Spain.


The President takes malaria medication against the corona

May 26

President Nayib Bukele says he himself and “the majority of world leaders” are taking hydrochloroquine, a malaria drug that some claim is helping the corona virus despite lack of scientific support for it. US President Donald Trump recently drew attention when he stated that he was taking hydrochloroquine on a preventive basis. The World Health Organization WHO recently canceled tests with the drug because it was considered harmful.

Court will stop state of emergency

May 18

The Constitutional Court repeals a decree from President Nayib Bukele two days earlier that would have extended the state of emergency for another 30 days (see March 14, 2020). Bukele issued the decree since Parliament refused to approve a new extension, citing the government’s failure to meet spending requirements and submit a plan to return to normal conditions.


Tough times should curb increased violence

April 27

President Nayib Bukele gives military and police powers to use deadly force to curb increased gang violence. According to the president, the increase in violence is because the leagues have benefited from the corona pandemic, as the security forces have been busy maintaining quarantine rules. Bukele also orders that imprisoned gang members be kept completely isolated around the clock, as they must have ordered murder from inside the prisons. In addition, prisoners from rival gangs will be forced to divide cell. The president’s order comes after a weekend of murder. In a single day, 24 murders were reported in the country. That’s the highest figure a day since Bukele took office in June 2019, after winning the election with promises to curb the violence.


Extensive curfews are introduced

21 March

President Nayib Bukele orders quarantine throughout the country for 30 days. Residents are only allowed to go out to buy food or to go to work if they have community-carrying functions, such as health care workers, police, journalists and military. Anyone who violates the order to stay home runs the risk of being arrested and taken to a detention center.

A state of emergency should halt the coronary pandemic

14th of March

Congress announces state of emergency and approves some exceptions to the Constitution to try to curb the new coronavirus that is causing major disruption in the world. This is despite the fact that no corona cases have yet been discovered in El Savlador. Free movement is restricted for 30 days and the authorities are given the right to ban public gatherings. The Corona Falls are so far quite few in all of Latin America, but the concerns are great that they will grow rapidly in numbers.

Restrictions due to virus threats

11th of March

The government stops all entry into the country for three weeks, in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus causing covid-19. The ban applies to foreigners not residing in El Salvador, or a diplomat. Salvadorans who come from abroad from countries where the corona virus is detected must be quarantined for 30 days. All tuition in schools and universities is suspended, also for three weeks, and public gatherings with more than 500 people are banned. El Salvador is one of the few countries in Latin America where no case of the new virus has yet been detected.


The President promises to follow the constitution

February 11

By order of the Supreme Court (CSJ), President Bukele in a written statement confirms that he will not use the military in a way that threatens the political system. The CSJ has also ordered the military and the National Guard to adhere to its functions under the Constitution and other legislation. The court’s order is a result of the events in Parliament two days earlier.

President charged with “coup attempt”

February 10

Speaker of Parliament Mario Pince accuses President Nayib Bukele of trying to carry out a coup against Parliament after he brought his military into the parliament building the day before. Ponce says after a meeting with party mates in the Conservative National Consultative Party (PCN). Parliament has on the whole been positive about Bukele’s plans to borrow to strengthen security, but asked for more information on how the money should be used. The delay that arose thus angered Bukele, who has now dismissed the parliamentarians as incompetent and said that some of them are in contact with criminal gangs.

Soldiers enter parliament

February 9

Police and military with weapons and bulletproof vests are entering the parliament building to emphasize the need for a loan to finance equipment for them, in order to strengthen law enforcement. The intrusion is made in connection with President Nayib Bukele’s address to Parliament. Bukele has previously given the members a week to support his proposal to borrow $ 109 million. The opposition expresses great dismay at the presence of armed persons in the National Assembly and accuses the president of being increasingly authoritarian. The money will go to police vehicles, uniforms, surveillance equipment and a helicopter. Many members have abstained from attending the debate, prompting the president to call on his supporters to gather around the parliament building. Around 50,000 protesters joined.

El Salvador Industry

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