US calls Salvadoran leaders’ interference in midterm elections «unacceptable».

U.S.
U.S. House of Representatives Congresswoman Norma Torres. – MICHAEL BROCHSTEIN / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOPHOTO

The U.S. State Department has described as «unacceptable» the interference of several congressmen from El Salvador in the mid-term elections held earlier this month, after some of them asked to vote against some congressmen of Central American origin.

This is the case of Democratic Representative Norma Torres, born in Guatemala, and the target of criticism from, among others, the president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, who already last year asked via Twitter the Latino community in the United States not to vote for her. «She does not work for you, but to keep our countries in underdevelopment,» he wrote.

Christian Guevara, congressman of Bukele’s party, Nueva Ideas, expressed himself along the same lines on the eve of the elections, asking the Latino diaspora not to vote for Norma Torres because of the alleged «damage» she would have caused to El Salvador.

Torres has protested against the campaign against her that members of Buekele’s government have been carrying out with special fruition in social networks, asking for votes for her Republican rivals. As a result, she has denounced having been harassed in person and through messages on social networks.

In the message celebrating her re-election to the House of Representatives for California’s 35th district, Torres criticized her Republican rival for accepting «the scandalous endorsement» of Bukele, whom she accused of violating human rights and promoting hatred, racism and division against indigenous communities.

At the same time, he showed his «disappointment» with the U.S. judicial system for failing to address foreign interference in those elections. «Many of the attacks on networks were orchestrated in El Salvador by President Nayib Bukele (…) This type of blatant manipulation of our electoral politics demands a strong response from the Federal Government», he claimed.

In response, the State Department has confirmed to NBC that it is aware of these «alarming» attempts by «some Salvadorans» to directly influence the last elections.

«As we have repeatedly made clear, this is unacceptable, and we have repeatedly communicated this directly to the Government of El Salvador through official diplomatic channels. The integrity of our elections is a vital part of our democratic processes; the will of the people must not be undermined by foreign interference,» the State Department said.

Torres revalidated his seat in the House for California’s heavily Hispanic 35th district in the November 8 elections with 57.4 percent of the vote against Republican Mike Cargile, with 42.6 percent of the support, who achieved one of his party’s best performances in that area.