During the 71st Miss Universe pageant on Saturday (January 14), it was revealed that El Salvador would host the 72nd annual event. The announcement was made by El Salvador President Nayib Bukele during a video presentation.
“I am greatly honored to announce that El Salvador will be the official host country of the next Miss Universe pageant at the end of this year,” Bukele said. “El Salvador is a country that’s full of beauty. We have the best surfing beaches in the world, magnificent volcanoes, exquisite coffee, and we now have become the safest country in Latin America.
Bukele continued: “We would like to thank the Miss Universe organization for joining us in this historic process. El Salvador is changing, and we want you to come and see it for yourself. See you soon.”
Since taking office in 2019, Bukele has been criticized by many of El Salvador’s citizens and world leaders for governing the Central American country as an autocrat. He has replaced the Supreme Court with his own judges, has instituted martial law, and has announced a reelection bid in 2024 despite it being prohibited by the Constitution.
As for being “the safest country in Latin America,” according to Reuters, murders in El Salvador declined by 57 percent in 2022. The government claims it is because of a crackdown on gang violence. Others believe the drop in crime has resulted because Bukele’s administration has been brokering secret deals with gang leaders.
The last time El Salvador hosted the Miss Universe pageant was in 1975 during its 24th edition. Miss El Salvador, Carmen Elena Figueroa, made it into the Top 12 that year. A contestant from El Salvador has never won the Miss Universe title.