HomeNewsBriefEl Salvador Survey Highlights Opposition to Gang Negotiations
BRIEF

El Salvador Survey Highlights Opposition to Gang Negotiations

EL SALVADOR / 11 DEC 2014 BY KYRA GURNEY EN

A survey in El Salvador revealed both overwhelming opposition to gang negotiations and mixed feelings about the country’s police force, a snapshot of public perceptions of security in one of Latin America’s most violent countries.

According to a survey conducted by the University Institute of Public Opinion in El Salvador, over three-quarters of respondents are against the government negotiating with the country’s gangs.

Meanwhile, a third of all respondents indicated that they thought police were involved in criminal activity, while 34 percent said the police protected citizens and 26 percent said they believed the police force contained a mix of both. An overwhelming 90 percent of respondents stated that purging the national police was either very or somewhat urgent.

Although only a fifth of respondents said they had a lot of confidence in the national police, 60 percent believed the deployment of community police would improve security.

In terms of the country’s overall security situation, 69 percent of respondents said they thought that crime increased in 2014, while nearly 22 percent reported having been the victim of a crime. Although the numbers remained small, the percentages of respondents who moved (nearly 5 percent) or had a member of their household leave the country (8 percent) due of threats doubled in comparison to the previous two years.  

InSight Crime Analysis

Public opposition to the gang truce appears to be in line with government policies. President Salvador Sanchez Ceren’s administration has indicated that it will not publicly support negotiating a new gang truce after the peace deal forged under the president’s predecessor fell apart following an initial drop in homicides. When reports emerged at the beginning of November that the National Council for Citizen Security (CNSCC) was evaluating the possibility of opening dialogues with members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and Barrio 18 gangs, council members were quick to discard the possibility.

SEE ALSO: El Salvador Gang Truce: Positives and Negatives

In terms of El Slavador’s security forces, the lack of public trust in the national police is understandable. Corruption in the police force is a pervasive problem in El Salvador, where both United Nations and journalistic investigations have revealed links between the country’s drug trafficking groups and security forces. On the other hand, there appears to be a great deal of optimism about the new community police force, which was deployed in capital city San Salvador in August and has been tasked with using the input of local communities to address crime. 

Meanwhile, the two-fold increase in the percentage of respondents who had a member of their household leave the country because of threats likely reflects one of the major factors that has precipitated a flood of child migrants from Central America to the United States over the past year.   

Compartir 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.

Related Content

BARRIO 18 / 9 APR 2015

Homicide levels in El Salvador have slowly increased since the middle of 2013 and have reached levels similar to those…

EL SALVADOR / 11 MAY 2015

The recent massacre of 10 alleged gang members by men dressed as security forces raises the possibility of death…

EL SALVADOR / 14 DEC 2010

The Salvadorean government has dismissed 330 prison staff members since Friday, in an attempt to crack down on gang activity.

About InSight Crime

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…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…