El Salvador is experiencing a crisis of gang crime – after 87 people were killed in one weekend, the country has entered a state of emergency, suspending ordinary human rights while police officers work to control the uptick in violence.
Now, leaders in the Bitcoin community are calling for aid in El Salvador.
In a Twitter thread, Bitfinex and Tether Chief Technical Officer posted a call to action, explaining the importance of the Bitcoin community's commitment to this cause.
“Over the past months, I have seen a number of leaders from our community knocking on the president's door, taking selfies and publicly announcing support,” he wrote. “It’s now time to act. Helping families affected by pandillas > buying jets and lambos.”
The statement was followed by a link to donate to Bitfinex and Tether's El Salvador relief fund.
El Salvador became a pioneer in the global development of blockchain technology when it made Bitcoin a legal currency in September of 2021. Since then, it launched the famous Bitcoin Beach, where visitors can pay for food and services with cryptocurrency.
The country's president, Nayib Bukele, was both lauded and criticized for the move. He now faces a new challenge amidst El Salvador's rising rate of gang violence, and he seems intent on a hardline approach.
“Do you know how many countries have decided to help us in the war against gangs?” Bukele wrote on Twitter. “Exactly: NONE. Do not come later and try to tell us what we should have done or not do, when at the moment that we could have needed your help, you left us alone.”
Support from the Bitcoin community could be definitive for El Salvador, at a time when the nation faces unprecedented challenges.
Authorities have arrested over 9,000 gang members in just fifteen days, and the number continues to climb.