The Central American nation has declared a state of emergency after the most violent day seen in El Salvador for 30 years.
El Salvador has sought to position itself as a paradise for crypto investors after becoming the first country in the world to make Bitcoin legal tender.
But over the weekend, the Central American nation declared a state of emergency after a spike in killings on the streets.
At least 62 murders were reported on Saturday alone — many of them gang-related — on the most violent day seen in El Salvador for 30 years.
The new emergency measures will be in place for 30 days, and will restrict the public's right to gather.
Arrests can now also take place without a warrant, and communications may be monitored.
Bukele has stressed that "life will go on as normal" for the vast majority of people — and these powers will only be used where necessary. Religious services and sporting events are going to be unaffected, while schools and shops will also remain open.
The president said the only people who need to worry about the state of emergency are gang members — with officials ramping up security in prisons and stopping inmates from going outside.
According to Bukele's office, a number of gang members responsible for ordering recent killings have already been arrested.
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A Long-Running Issue
Although homicide rates have been falling since President Nayib Bukele was elected in 2019, he admitted that the "new spike" in murders needs to be tackled.
Back in December, the U.S. Treasury Department also alleged that Bukele's administration had secretly provided "financial incentives" to two notorious gangs — MS-13 and Barrio 18 — "to ensure that incidents of gang violence and the number of confirmed homicides remained low."
U.S. officials also claimed that the deal meant gang members received privileges in Salvadoran prisons, including access to cell phones and prostitutes. Bukele has rejected these claims.
While $500 million would be used to boost the country's BTC reserves, the other half would be invested in shiny new infrastructure so crypto can be mined using geothermal energy.
At this point, it's unclear whether the country's state of emergency will push back the launch date of the volcano bonds further.