HomeNewsBriefEl Salvador Gang Targeted Police With Booby-Trapped Car: Official
BRIEF

El Salvador Gang Targeted Police With Booby-Trapped Car: Official

BARRIO 18 / 18 JUN 2015 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

A high-level security official in El Salvador said a stolen car, found with a grenade booby-trap, was a failed gang attack on police. If true, this would be a concerning sign of the escalating aggression between El Salvador's gangs and the security forces. 

On the night of June 15, members of El Salvador's National Civil Police (PNC) located the stolen car in a residential neighborhood in Soyapango, a municipality in capital city San Salvador, reported La Prensa Grafica. When the police inspected the abandoned car, they noticed an M67 grenade tied to the passenger side door, placed next to the gear shift. An investigator said the device was rigged in order to explode when the passenger door was opened, but did not go off since the officer opened the door on the driver's side.  

A high-level police official told InSight Crime that gang members were behind the unsuccessful attack, and that police were the intended target. The official said police do not know for certain who was responsible. However, an investigator told La Prensa Grafica that members of the Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS13) are suspected of having planted the grenade. The MS13 is reportedly the principal gang operating in the area where the car was found. 

El Salvador's Security Minister, Benito Lara, said authorities will investigate if the attempt to set off a grenade inside a car qualifies as an act of terrorism, according to La Prensa Grafica.

InSight Crime Analysis

If what Salvadoran police are asserting is correct, the failed grenade attack would point to a new level of hostility between gangs and security forces. Security Minister Lara noted it could be part of the gang's new modus operandi.

SEE ALSO: El Salvador News and Profile

Since the breakdown of El Salvador's gang truce in early 2014, the Barrio 18 and MS13 -- El Salvador's principal street gangs -- have ratcheted up the number of attacks on police and military officials. Police officials have responded aggressively by telling officers to shoot at criminals "with complete confidence" and by asserting "we're at war" with gangs.

The heightened conflict between gangs and security forces is part of surging homicide levels in El Salvador. According to La Prensa Grafica, May was the country's most violent month since the end of the country's civil war in 1992.

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

BRAZIL / 31 DEC 2021

Prediction of the criminal dynamics for 2022 is even harder than most years, as it involves predicting the march of…

BARRIO 18 / 28 MAR 2022

A killing spree unlike anything seen since El Salvador’s civil war has delivered a macabre message from the country’s street…

BARRIO 18 / 21 JUN 2021

A massacre between the Barrio 18 and MS13 gangs in Honduras’ most notorious prison raises questions on whether the military…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…