Around 85 percent of gang members in El Salvador have thought about distancing themselves from gang life or leaving entirely. But with few reported success stories, little is known about this process. In March 2017, a study by Florida International University (FIU) examined the dynamics behind the dangerous choice to abandon gang life and the challenges faced by ex-members seeking to reintegrate into society.
Officers of El Salvador's national police are allegedly running "clandestine jails" where they illegally hold suspected gang members, another indication of the extreme anti-gang methods being employed by security forces already implicated in death squad activities.
A new report mapping violence in Honduras' capital suggests that the country's gangs remain a root cause driving the violence, a finding consistent with years past but difficult to sustain.
Officials in El Salvador agreed to move a group of MS13 leaders after one member offered to cause a split in the gang. In exchange, he and his "henchmen" were removed from a maximum security prison. El Faro obtained several state intelligence agency documents that show the government's interest in strengthening the breakaway faction of the MS13, known as the MS503.