HomeNewsBriefEl Salvador's 'Plan Seguro' Failing to Make Communities Safe: Report
BRIEF

El Salvador's 'Plan Seguro' Failing to Make Communities Safe: Report

EL SALVADOR / 28 MAR 2016 BY DAN ALDER EN

The unceasing drumbeat of deadly violence in notoriously rough Ciudad Delgado highlights the failure of the government’s "Plan El Salvador Seguro" to provide quick relief to the country’s security woes.

In an extensive, thoughtful report, La Prensa Gráfica notes that eight months since the plan's onset it has brought residents no relief from homicides, extortion and other crimes attributed to the gangs active in Ciudad Delgado.

Police and coroner’s office data indicate that Ciudad Delgado saw 115 murders between August 2015 and mid-March 2016, while 95 people were killed there in the six months preceding Plan Seguro, La Prensa reported.

Another 9 people were “disappeared” since August, two minors were sexually assaulted and four people a month received death threats.

The insecurity marches on despite a heavy and militarized police presence, mass arrests of suspected gang members and official talk of government agencies working in coordination to produce holistic solutions.

InSight Crime Analysis

Ciudad Delgado, a huge, densely populated and largely marginalized municipality abutting the capital, San Salvador, was the flagship of the government security plan (pdf), which was rolled out in July 2015 amid much fanfare and one of the world’s highest peacetime homicide rates.

Then minister of Security and Justice Benito Lara promised residents that “in short order the lives of the people of Ciudad Delgado will be changed, and this municipality will be a model for all of El Salvador to follow.” 

However, instead of being the beacon of hope, it has become the example of government futility. To be sure, Cuidad Delgado illustrates the illusory nature of the heavy, militarized police presence amid a continued lack of territorial control by the state and absence of effective, long-term social, economic and educational programs. 

What's more, an uptick in homicides so far in 2016, has seen officials consider additional and extreme measures, such as declaring a state of emergency in areas like Ciudad Delgado -- which would curtail constitutionally guaranteed rights -- and imposing sanctions on people who submit to extortion demands delivered with the threat of deadly violence.

These measures appear even more drastic considering that military and police installations in the area are like islands in a sea of effective gang control. The Plan’s emphasis on prevention has also been undermined by a lack of funding. The strategic architecture and political support required to address a problem as complex as violence in El Salvador have not materialized.

“Scratching his head like someone searching for the best answer (Ciudad Delgado Police Chief Hugo Salinas) finally calculates that the city under his command will need another eight years to achieve fewer killings and fewer youths involved in gangs,” La Prensa reported. 

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 / 24 SEP 2013

Leaders of El Salvador's street gangs have issued a joint statement declaring their desire to keep moving forward with the…

COLOMBIA / 4 NOV 2016

Aside from near constant talk of building "a wall" along the Mexican border and sporadic mention of Mexico's heroin distribution…

ARGENTINA / 14 MAR 2019

Authorities in Argentina have hailed the record-high increase of drug seizures and arrests made since 2015 as a sign that…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Oceans Pillaged in Central America and the Caribbean

5 AUG 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the first installment of a nine-part investigation uncovering the hidden depths of Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing in Latin America. The first installment covered Central America and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela’s Tren de Aragua Becomes Truly Transnational

29 JUL 2022

This week, InSight Crime published a deep dive into the total control that Venezuelan mega-gang, Tren de Aragua, has over the lives of those it smuggles between Venezuela and Chile…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkish Traffickers Delivering Latin American Cocaine to Persian Gulf

15 JUL 2022

Last week, InSight Crime published the second half of an investigation piecing together the emerging role of Turkish cocaine traffickers in supplying Russia and the Persian Gulf, which are among…

THE ORGANIZATION

Turkey as a Lynchpin in European Cocaine Pipeline

8 JUL 2022

InSight Crime is extending its investigation into the cocaine pipeline to Europe, and tracking the growing connections between Latin American drug traffickers and European criminal organizations. This led us to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Memo Fantasma Coverage Gets Worldwide Attention

1 JUL 2022

Guillermo Acevedo, the former Colombian drug lord and paramilitary commander better known as Memo Fantasma, may soon be allowed to leave prison. Since first revealing the identity of Memo Fantasma…