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

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

DRUG POLICY / 27 NOV 2013

The US Drug Enforcement Administration's annual report charts evolving market forces in the supply and demand of narcotics, with cocaine…

COLOMBIA / 27 NOV 2014

The kidnapping of a military general by FARC rebels operating in Colombia's Pacific state of Choco -- which led to…

COLOMBIA / 11 NOV 2019

Colombia is at a crossroads. Several paths lay before it. One sees the ex-FARC mafia consigned to the dustbin of…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Collaborating on Citizen Security Initiatives

8 JUN 2021

Co-director Steven Dudley worked with Chemonics, a DC-based development firm, to analyze the organization’s citizen security programs in Mexico.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Deepens Its Connections with Universities

31 MAY 2021

A partnership with the University for Peace will complement InSight Crime’s research methodology and expertise on Costa Rica.

THE ORGANIZATION

With Support from USAID, InSight Crime Will Investigate Organized Crime in Haiti

31 MAY 2021

The project will seek to map out Haiti's principal criminal economies, profile the specific groups and actors, and detail their links to elements of the state.

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events - Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…