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El Salvador standoff deepens over loan for security forces

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele called on supporters to converge around the country’s parliament Sunday after legislators refused to gather to vote on a $109 million loan to better equip the country’s security forces.

Top commanders of the country’s police and military have expressed allegiance to the president during the standoff, while positioning security forces around the legislative building.

Opposition legislators say they want more details on the spending plan before being called to a vote.

The administration says it would use the funds to purchase a helicopter, police cars, uniforms, night vision goggles and other equipment, including a video surveillance system.

It also says that Cabinet members have explained the plans, and that they are willing to give more details to legislators.

Bukele took office in June with broad popular support in a country plagued by crime and corruption. Voters saw the businessman as an outsider who could modernize the country and upset the status quo.

The opposition FMLN party accused Bukele of intimidation and acting like “a dictatorship” for trying to force approval of the loan.

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