Crime & Justice

El Salvador declares state of emergency amid spike in gang violence

San Salvador, Mar 27 (EFE).- A state of emergency has been declared in El Salvador due to the “disproportionate increase” in homicides after national police reported 76 murders in the past two days, a record in the central American nation’s recent history.

Salvadoran lawmakers approved the emergency, which will be in force for at least 30 days, in the early hours of Sunday morning to rein in the surge in gang violence.

“We will not back down on this #WaronGangs, we will not rest until the criminals responsible for these incidents are captured and brought to justice,” the PNC wrote on Twitter.

After 14 homicides were reported on Friday, a further 62 were committed the following day.

The previous record for criminal murders in a single day was in August 2015, when El Salvador experienced its most violent year since the end of the civil war (1980-1992).

In November 2021, the country saw a sudden spike in killings too, with 40 murders in three days.

Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele, who has launched a crackdown on gangs, previously blamed the rise in homicides on the “dark forces who are working to return us to the past,” but stressed that “this administration is not going to allow it.”

The United States treasury department imposed sanctions on two Salvadoran government officials in December for allegedly negotiating a secret pact with the MS-13 criminal gang.EFE


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