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Since the end of El Salvador's civil war, the country's police has become a key player in the underworld. This series of five articles explore the dark ties between criminal organizations and the government's foremost crime fighting institution. 


El Salvador News

The Northern Triangle: The Countries That Don't Cry for Their Dead

The Northern Triangle: The Countries That Don't Cry for Their Dead

In the past three years, 48,947 people were murdered in the Northern Triangle, the most violent region of the world, which is home to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. In those three years, these countries... Read more

El Salvador Country Profile

El Salvador is a relatively small but growing player in the drug trafficking business, serving as a recipient and storage point along the Pacific Coast, and a bridge via the Pan-American Highway, the Fonseca Gulf, and small roads from Honduras that cut across the relatively unpopulated mountains.

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  • Groups
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MS13

MS13

The Mara Salvatrucha, or MS13, is perhaps the most notorious street gang in the Western... Read more

Barrio 18 (M-18)

Barrio 18 (M-18)

The 18th Street Gang, also known as "Barrio 18" or the "M-18," is one of... Read more

Texis Cartel

Texis Cartel

Unlike some Central American gangs that have earned fame for their brutality and their liberal... Read more

Perrones

Perrones

The Perrones are El Salvador’s most infamous transportation group. Made up of a mix of... Read more

Chepe Luna

Chepe Luna

As the most powerful boss of the Perrones “transportista” syndicate still on the loose, Jose... Read more

Chepe Diablo

Chepe Diablo

Jose Adan Salazar Umaña does not fit the profile of a criminal leader. As the... Read more

Reynerio Flores Lazo

Reynerio Flores Lazo

While Reynerio Flores may still be under house arrest, he remains one of the most... Read more

'El Barney'

'El Barney'

Moris Alexander Bercian Manchon, alias "El Barney," is one of six Salvadoran MS-13 members sanctioned... Read more

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2 Divergent Views on El Salvador Gang Truce, 1 Sad Conclusion

2 Divergent Views on El Salvador Gang Truce, 1 Sad Conclusion

Two wildly divergent views of what is happening with the truce between El Salvador's two foremost gangs converge in one important way: they both paint a bleak picture for the near future of the fragile...

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Uncertainty Swirls Around Mexico Vigilantes Disarmament 'Agreement'

Uncertainty Swirls Around Mexico Vigilantes Disarmament 'Agreement'

A vigilante leader in Mexico's Michoacan state has promised the groups will disarm by May 10, but details about what their agreement with the government entails are hazy, and it remains to be seen whether...

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Ecuador Car Theft Rings Fuel Billion Dollar Transnational Trade

Ecuador Car Theft Rings Fuel Billion Dollar Transnational Trade

In 2013, Ecuador lost around $22 million and over 7,000 vehicles to car theft, a lucrative international trade that connects street level thieves to transnational organized crime groups.

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