HomeNewsBriefEl Salvador Police Report Rise in Homicides
BRIEF

El Salvador Police Report Rise in Homicides

EL SALVADOR / 2 JUL 2013 BY CLAIRE O NEILL MCCLESKEY EN

After falling dramatically in the wake of the gang truce, El Salvador's homicide rate began to rise again in May and June, sparking concerns about the sustainability of the truce between the country's two main gangs, Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13).

According to police officials, El Salvador had 182 murders in June 2013, up from 166 in the same month in 2012, reported La Prensa Grafica. June also saw an increase of 12 murders from the month before.

During the first half of 2013, the country had 1,045 homicides, down from 1,562 during the same period in 2012. Violence began decreasing in February, hitting a low in April before beginning to rise again in May.

The uptick in homicides in June has caused concern among Salvadoran authorities and led to a meeting between officials from the Ministry of Justice and Public Security and the National Civil Police (PNC) on June 29. Officials were particularly alarmed by the violence during the last weekend in June, which seemed to recall the days prior to the maras' gang truce: 32 homicides were registered between Friday and Sunday.

InSight Crime Analysis

Even with the rise registered in May and June, El Salvador's murder rate for the first half of 2013 represents a significant improvement compared to the previous year; prior to the truce in 2012, the country experienced an average of 14 homicides a day.

However, despite the overall improvement that has been seen this year, the two-month pattern of increasing homicides, coupled with other disturbing trends such as a rise in extortion and disappearances, may undermine both public and institutional faith in the truce. Many in El Salvador, including critical civil society actors such as the Catholic Church, have already expressed skepticism about the future of the truce due to the government's lack of transparency about the negotiations and the exact terms of the gang agreement.

Until now, the government has been able to point to the drop in murders as proof that the truce is working. If homicide rates continue to rise over the next few months the process could find itself in serious trouble.

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 / 2 DEC 2011

Most of El Salvador’s professional soccer teams have stopped giving players the numbers 13 and 18, fearing reprisals from…

BARRIO 18 / 22 NOV 2010

The United Nations and U.S. Southern Command estimate there are approximately 70,000 gang members, or so-called maras, most of them…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 29 OCT 2020

Salvadoran authorities recently claimed that an anti-gang campaign has led to thousands of weapons being seized. But the numbers and…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…