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El Salvador

CrisisWatch El Salvador

Improved Situation

Lowest monthly homicide rate this century marked improved security situation, though debate continued over whether this was due to President Bukele’s anti-gang measures. Following late-July announcement of third phase of anti-gang “Territorial Control Plan” which saw measures extended to all departments and foresees $210mn of technical and technological equipment to security forces, govt insisted plan had helped reduce homicides though some security experts said assessment was premature; national police reported 131 murders in Aug, lowest rate since 2000; since Bukele’s 1 Jun swearing in, daily murder average dropped from nine to around four. Bukele 8 Aug pledged to fight corruption and promised to create International Commission against Impunity in El Salvador (CICIES) before 1 Sept; civil society welcomed initiative but warned it was being undertaken in secretive way without consultation; Organization of American States Sec Gen Almagro and VP Ulloa 30 Aug announced creation of technical mission to establish CICIES. Amid regional focus on migration and following late July U.S.-Guatemala “Safe Third Country” agreement requiring migrants who pass through Guatemala to first seek asylum there instead of U.S., acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan 1 Aug stated U.S. will pursue similar agreement with El Salvador. Police 3 Aug detained two people, including secretary in parliament, in Anguiatú on Guatemala border, on charges of human trafficking.

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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.