Descripción de editorial
These excellent reports have been professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction. Contents: The Central America Regional Security Initiative: Disrupt the Movement of Criminals and Contraband; Escalating Violence in El Salvador; El Salvador: Background and U.S. Relations.
During 2015, El Salvador, a country with a population of 6.5 million people, recorded some 6,657 murders. As a result, El Salvador probably posted the world's highest homicide rate, an alarming 104 per 100,000 people, last year. El Salvador has the highest concentration of gang members per capita in Central America; as a result, gangs are responsible for a higher percentage of homicides there than in neighboring Guatemala and Honduras. The current level and type of violence that El Salvador has experienced—including massacres, killings of police and their families, and extrajudicial killings of suspected gang members—rivals the worst periods of the country's civil conflict (1980-1992).
The largest and most violent gangs in El Salvador have origins in and ties with the United States. The 18th Street gang was formed in Los Angeles in the 1960s by Mexican youth who were not accepted into existing Hispanic gangs. The MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha-13) was created during the 1980s by Salvadorans in Los Angeles who had fled the country's civil conflict. Both gangs later expanded their operations to Central America after many of their leaders were deported to the region in the 1990s. Gang cliques (clicas) in El Salvador have maintained ties with gangs in the United States, particularly in the Los Angeles and Washington, DC, metro areas.
Although El Salvador has struggled with gang-related violence for many years, homicides have escalated since the demise of a 2012-2013 truce between the country's two largest gangs. Post-truce, the gangs are more fragmented and powerful. Gangs have increasingly become involved in extortion; kidnapping; and drug, auto, and weapons smuggling. Gangs have extorted millions of dollars from residents, bus drivers, and businesses. Failure to pay often results in harassment or violence. In July 2015, gang threats prompted a three-day shutdown of San Salvador's bus system. Gang-related crimes continue to drive internal displacement and illegal emigration.