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El Salvador

CrisisWatch El Salvador

Unchanged Situation

New President Nayib Bukele, sworn in 1 June, launched flurry of anti-gang measures. Bukele early June named cabinet including two hardliners in fight against armed groups, René Merino Monroy as minister of defence and Mauricio Arriaza Chicas as director of national police. Human Rights Institute of Central American University decried Arriaza appointment, said he previously led police units accused of extrajudicial killings. Bukele 11 June ruled out possibility of truce with gangs while Arriaza next day said police would adopt harsher measures. Bukele’s “Territorial Control Plan” began 20 June with three focus areas: tightening control of jailed gang leaders; curbing financing for illicit activities; and strengthening capacity of security forces. Gang attacks on security forces continued with four police officers killed 1-17 June, and a soldier 26 June. Amid regional focus on migration and govt criticism that U.S.-Mexico 7 June deal to increase anti-migration efforts did not include Northern Triangle countries, Bukele 20 June met Mexican President López Obrador in Tapachula, Mexico, to discuss migration, with latter pledging $30mn in support for El Salvador.

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Reports & Briefings

El Salvador’s Politics of Perpetual Violence

Also available in Español

Mafia of the Poor: Gang Violence and Extortion in Central America

Also available in Español

In The News

1 Mar 2018
Un pacto de Estado por la paz en El Salvador [entre el Partido FMLN y Arena que] suponga un compromiso con los cinco ejes del Plan El Salvador Seguro [es un paso indispensable]. El Faro

Sofía Martínez Fernández

Former Analyst, Northern Triangle
20 Dec 2017
Reprimir y perseguir el crimen [en El Salvador] es necesario, pero tratar por igual a los supuestos criminales y al casi medio millón de personas que viven bajo su yugo puede llegar a ser contraproducente. El Faro

Sofía Martínez Fernández

Former Analyst, Northern Triangle

Latest Updates

La “profecía autocumplida” de Trump sobre las pandillas

El sociólogo Robert King Merton calificó de "profecía autocumplida" una predicción que, una vez hecha, es en sí misma la causa de que se haga realidad.

Originally published in EFE

Undocumented Migration from the Northern Triangle of Central America

The northward flow of undocumented migrants fleeing economic hardship and violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America exposes thousands of vulnerable people to mass victimisation. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2017 – Third Update early warning report for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the European Union and its member states to continue to pursue an approach grounded in supporting community violence prevention, institutional reform and poverty alleviation in the countries of origin while supporting transiting countries in managing the flow.