El Salvador News

Conflict, Violence Continue to Drive Displacement in Latin America: Report

Conflict, Violence Continue to Drive Displacement in Latin America: Report

A newly released annual report on global internal displacement again highlights how crime and violence contribute to displacement and migration in Latin America, with Colombia ranking as the country with the largest share of the world's internally displaced.

El Salvador Profile

El Salvador

El Salvador

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

More El Salvador News

  • Central America's Street Gangs Find Space to Grow in Milan

    Milan is known the world over for its high-end fashion and design, but a new report brings attention to a much less favorable label the city has acquired as the European stronghold of Central America's hyper-violent Barrio 18 and MS13 street gangs. 

  • Police-Gang Confrontations Happen Daily in El Salvador

    El Salvador police officer on patrol

    El Salvador's national police director says his officers have engaged in 459 confrontations with gangs so far in 2016, a staggering number that suggests something resembling a low-intensity war is playing out in the Central American nation. 

  • CentAm Migrants Suffer Brunt of Mexico Crackdown: Report

    Mexican authorities have cracked down on migration

    Mexico's crackdown against Central American migrants has increased human rights violations and crimes against the migrants, according to a new report, suggesting it is the vulnerable rather than the human smugglers that are suffering as a result of the new security measures.

  • El Salvador Transfers Judges to Combat Corruption in Judiciary

    El Salvador's Supreme Court building

    El Salvador's Supreme Court has transferred 21 judges, including four that made rulings favorable to a prominent businessman accused of corrupting the justice system, a clear sign that the high court supports the current crackdown on impunity by the Attorney General's Office.

  • Report Describes Shifting Patterns of Violence in El Salvador

    Crime scene in Jiquilisco, the site of a case study in the INCIDE report

    A new report describes recent shifts in the characteristics of violence in El Salvador, and it offers recommendations for how to deal with these developments, focusing particularly on the need to tailor violence reduction and prevention strategies to specific local conditions.

  • Refugees from Central America Violence May Head Down Under

    Central American migrants head north.

    With the United States increasingly clamping down on its southern border and high numbers of Central American refugees continuing to flee the violence associated with gangs and organized crime, more and more migrants are opting to leave the continent altogether.

  • El Salvador Chips Away at Very High Homicide Rate

    Crime Scene in El Salvador

    The homicide rate in El Salvador showed improvement in the first half of September, continuing a steady decline in violent deaths seen over the past six months, though the country still has a long way to go to achieve murder rates in line with international norms.

  • El Salvador Disappearances Down From Post-Gang Truce Peak

    Photographs of people reported missing in El Salvador

    Newly reported statistics from El Salvador's National Civil Police indicate that disappearances have declined from a peak reached in 2014 after the dissolution of a controversial gang truce, raising questions about the relationship between the truce and the rate of disappearances.

  • El Salvador Announces New Anti-Impunity Unit

    Attorney General Douglas Meléndez (left) and Justice Minister Mauricio Ramirez Landaverde in the teleconference.

    El Salvador’s attorney general announced the creation of a new anti-impunity unit in the prosecutor's office that will work on politically sensitive corruption cases and have strong backing from the US government, although it lacks direct international participation.

  • Militarization and Crime: Central America’s Dangerous Gamble

    Guatemalan military on a joint patrol with the police

    A new report indicates that Central American states have increasingly relied on the military to fight crime with help from the United States, a decision which may bear consequences for human rights and levels of violence within the young democracies.

Investigations

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Homicides in Guatemala: Collecting the Data

Homicides in Guatemala: Collecting the Data

When someone is murdered in Guatemala, police, forensic doctors and government prosecutors start making their way to the crime scene and a creaky, antiquated 20th century bureaucratic machine kicks into gear. Calls are made. Forms are filled out by hand, or typed into computers, or both. Some...

Homicides in Guatemala: Analyzing the Data

Homicides in Guatemala: Analyzing the Data

In the last decade, homicides in Guatemala have obeyed a fairly steady pattern. Guatemala City and some of its surrounding municipalities have the greatest sheer number of homicides. Other states, particularly along the eastern border have the highest homicide rates. Among these are the departments of Escuintla...

The Prison Dilemma: Latin America’s Incubators of Organized Crime

The Prison Dilemma: Latin America’s Incubators of Organized Crime

The prison system in Latin America and the Caribbean has become a prime incubator for organized crime. This overview -- the first of six reports on prison systems that we produced after a year-long investigation -- traces the origins and maps the consequences of the problem, including...

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

Homicides in Guatemala: Introduction, Methodology, and Major Findings

When violence surged in early 2015 in Guatemala, then-President Otto Pérez Molina knew how to handle the situation: Blame the street gangs. 

The MS13 Moves (Again) to Expand on US East Coast

The MS13 Moves (Again) to Expand on US East Coast

Local police and justice officials are convinced that the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) has strengthened its presence along the East Coast of the United States. The alarm follows a recent spate of violence -- of the type not seen in a decade -- which included dismembered bodies and...

Reign of the Kaibil: Guatemala’s Prisons Under Byron Lima

Reign of the Kaibil: Guatemala’s Prisons Under Byron Lima

Following Guatemala's long and brutal civil war, members of the military were charged, faced trial and sentenced to jail time. Even some members of a powerful elite unit known as the Kaibil were put behind bars. Among these prisoners, none were more emblematic than Captain Byron Lima...

The Fixer and El Salvador's Missed Opportunity

The Fixer and El Salvador's Missed Opportunity

In the photograph, they are both smiling. In the foreground, on the left hand side, a man in a short-sleeved buttoned white shirt, jeans and a metal watch, holds a bottle of water in his right hand. He laughs heartily. He is Herbert Saca. On the right...

'MS13 Members Imprisoned in El Salvador Can Direct the Gang in the US'

'MS13 Members Imprisoned in El Salvador Can Direct the Gang in the US'

Special Agent David LeValley headed the criminal division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Washington office until last November 8. While in office, he witnessed the rise of the MS13, the Barrio 18 (18th Street) and other smaller gangs in the District of Columbia as well...

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

The Lucky ‘Kingpin’: How ‘Chepe Diablo’ Has (So Far) Ridiculed Justice

José Adán Salazar Umaña is the only Salvadoran citizen currently on the US government's Kingpin List. But in his defense, Salazar Umaña claims is he is an honorable businessman who started his career by exchanging money along the borders between Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. He does...

How the MS13 Got Its Foothold in Transnational Drug Trafficking

How the MS13 Got Its Foothold in Transnational Drug Trafficking

Throughout the continent, the debate on whether or not the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) gang is working with or for drug traffickers continues. In this investigation, journalist Carlos García tells the story of how a member of the MS13 entered the methamphetamine distribution business under the powerful auspices...