HomeNewsBriefEl Salvador Disappearances Down From Post-Gang Truce Peak
BRIEF

El Salvador Disappearances Down From Post-Gang Truce Peak

EL SALVADOR / 16 SEP 2016 BY MIKE LASUSA EN

Newly reported statistics from El Salvador's National Civil Police indicate that disappearances have declined from a peak reached in 2014 after the dissolution of a controversial gang truce, raising questions about the relationship between the truce and the rate of disappearances.

According to a September 15 article from El Diario de Hoy, police recorded 838 disappearances between January 1 and July 19 of this year. That figure represents an average of around 129 disappearances per month.

Men made up the majority of the victims, with 569 cases representing nearly 70 percent of the total. Young people under the age of 30 were also particularly affected, with 530 cases representing nearly two-thirds of the total.

Police statistics available through the government's online transparency portal (pdf) show that the monthly average of disappearances grew steadily from 2011 through 2014, when they reached a peak average of more than 187 per month.

Since then, disappearances appear to have been in gradual decline. From January to September 2015, police recorded an average of about 159 per month, and roughly 129 per month were recorded through July of this year. (See InSight Crime's graphic below)

16-09-16-ElSalvador-Graph

InSight Crime Analysis

Some experts have argued that disappearances increased during the government-brokered gang truce between April 2012 and June 2013 as a result of gangs seeking to cover up evidence of ongoing murders that would have violated the terms of the pact. Homicides did appear to decrease during the truce, but Salvadoran security officials have publicly disagreed about whether that drop was related to the rise in disappearances.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of El Salvador Gang Truce

The available numbers appear to show that while disappearances did increase during the truce, the monthly average continued to rise the following year. Moreover, the average of 159 disappearances recorded monthly by the police in 2015 remained above the monthly average of 148 disappearances recorded during the 16 months the truce was in effect.

However, there are numerous issues with the accuracy of the Salvadoran government's disappearance statistics that make it difficult to draw solid conclusions based on the numbers alone. It is possible that other, less-understood factors contributed to the rise and gradual decline in the number of reported disappearances in recent years.

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 / 11 JUN 2014

El Salvador's new President Salvador Sanchez Ceren has declared he will not "make a truce with organized crime," in comments…

EL SALVADOR / 14 JUN 2013

Extortion of small businesses in El Salvador is getting worse despite the country's gang truce, according to business groups, and…

BARRIO 18 / 30 NOV 2017

Powerful statements made by a member of one of El Salvador’s most notorious gangs to the New York…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.