HomeNewsBrief14 Dead in El Salvador Prison Massacre
BRIEF

14 Dead in El Salvador Prison Massacre

BARRIO 18 / 24 AUG 2015 BY ARRON DAUGHERTY EN

A recent prison massacre in El Salvador is indicative of the government's problematic response to the nation's ongoing security crisis. 

Members of the Barrio 18 street gang killed 14 members of Barrio 18's Revolucionarios faction, or "clique," during an "internal purge" at the Quezaltepeque prison in El Salvador's southwestern La Libertad department, reported local media

The motive behind the killings is still unknown. Barrio 18's Revolucionarios faction is suspected of killing seven bus drivers during a gang-enforced transportation strike in July. 

Authorities admitted to having prior warning of a possible purge, but were unaware of the "silent" attacks while they occurred, EFE quoted prisons director Rodil Hernandez as saying.

Prison violence is an ongoing issue in El Salvador, with as many as 31 people killed during a particularly bloody gang dispute at the Mariona facility in 2004. Two other gang members were killed in Quezaltepeque in May. 

InSight Crime Analysis

The government's response to this latest prison massacre seems dismissive at best, with officials fully admitting they were warned ahead of time. Nor has anyone yet publically proposed ways to try and address this type of prison violence. This is unsurprising, given the administrations' hysterical rhetoric and current focus on militarized or "iron fist" security policies.

El Salvador continues to suffer some of the worst violence in a decade, with each month's homicide rates higher than the last. However, instead of calling for a different approach, Public Security Minister Benito Lara has framed rising murder statistics as a positive development, attributable to police being more effective and shooting more criminals.

SEE ALSO:  El Salvador News and Profiles

Within this context, incidents of gang members killing other gang members is likely a non-issue for authorities. This may especially hold true, given that the gang faction under attack -- the Revolucionarios -- is accused of instigating an transportation strike which highlighted the government's inability to maintain order. 

As resources in El Salvdor remain limited, it is highly unlikely that inmate rights will receive much attention in the near future, particularly when previous proposals have centered around limiting those rights. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

HAITI / 8 MAR 2021

A gang leader killed after a deadly Haiti prison break may have been sprung intentionally -- raising further concerns about…

CHEPE DIABLO / 25 MAY 2021

A business magnate who is an alleged leader of El Salvador’s Texis Cartel has escaped justice once again, after a…

BRAZIL / 11 DEC 2020

It was August 31, 1993, and the sun was shining when eight men entered a makeshift soccer pitch in the…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…