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.
Authorities in Central America have arrested hundreds of suspected gang members in recent days during coinciding operations, but their willingness to mount such large-scale efforts against gangs has not been matched by an equivalent committment to tackle recent allegations of serious official corruption.
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.