HomeNewsBriefEl Salvador Attorney General: Two-Thirds of Homicides Gang-Related
BRIEF

El Salvador Attorney General: Two-Thirds of Homicides Gang-Related

BARRIO 18 / 2 DEC 2015 BY ELIJAH STEVENS EN

Gang-perpetrated violence accounts for two-thirds of homicides in El Salvador, according to numbers from the Attorney General's Office, but the government data is confusing and does not tell the whole story.

El Salvador’s Attorney General’s Office has announced the results of a year-end analysis on crime, stating that 65 percent of homicides in 2015 were committed by gang members, reported La Prensa Grafica.

The data from the Attorney General's Office also pointed to the enormous growth of violence and criminal activity over the past year. In comparison to 2014, this year saw a 74 percent rise in homicides.

El Salvador has now surpassed Honduras in terms of violence, stated El Diario de Hoy, with a rate of 90 homicides for every 100,000 citizens.

The report also highlighted the rise in "multiple homicides," cases in which there are two or more victims. Since last year, the number of multiple homicides rose almost 200 percent, up to 450 cases in 2015.

InSight Crime Analysis

The attorney general’s emphasis on the gang-related violence is not surprising. The government has taken a hard-line against gangs, and put them front and center in its fight against crime. 

However, the data eminating from the government is also a little unclear. In November, a police study suggested that nearly 70 percent of murder victims in El Salvador had no gang connections. This subverted the government's traditional narrative that most of the country's violence is related to conflicts between gangs, and does not affect civilians for the most part. 

What's more, police and other suspected vigilante groups are have been connected to massacres of suspected gang members and civilians. And many analysts have noted an uptick in that type of violence as well. 

SEE ALSO: El Salvador News and Profiles

Nevertheless, the numbers from both the police and the attorney general suggests that gang violence is having an increasingly wide impact. Alongside civilian casualties, gang violence has increasingly targeted police, military and public security forces, as the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) street gang seeks to gain further control of drug trafficking operations, according to a recent Center for Strategic & International Studies report.

Gang violence against security forces has also increased, as the MS13 and rival gang the Barrio 18 have allegedly ramped up efforts to pressure the government to restore the 2012 truce and reduce anti-gang initiatives. All of these factors put together have contributed to levels of violence not seen since El Salvador’s civil war in the 1980s.

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

EL SALVADOR / 1 AUG 2013

Disappearances in El Salvador have risen 18 percent in 2013, according to police figures, adding to fears that gangs are…

ARGENTINA / 1 FEB 2022

In 2021, most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean experienced a marked increase in murders. Resurgent violence was to…

EL SALVADOR / 11 MAY 2017

US aid funding for Central America will be reduced in 2017. And while news reports have largely focused on…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…

THE ORGANIZATION

Coverage of Fallen Paraguay Prosecutor Makes Headlines

20 MAY 2022

The murder of leading anti-crime prosecutor, Marcelo Pecci, while on honeymoon in Colombia, has drawn attention to the evolution of organized crime in Paraguay. While 17 people have been arrested…