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El Salvador Intensifies Attempts to Break Gangs' Control over Prisons

El Salvador Intensifies Attempts to Break Gangs' Control over Prisons

Authorities in El Salvador have announced a massive transfer of incarcerated MS13 and Barrio 18 members to a single prison facility, in an effort to reverse the gangs' consolidation of power within the penitentiary system. 

El Salvador to Extend 'Extraordinary' Anti-Gang Measures until 2018

El Salvador to Extend 'Extraordinary' Anti-Gang Measures until 2018

Officials in El Salvador agreed to extend "extraordinary measures" to fight organized crime despite doubts about their effectiveness and alleged threats to citizens' rights, raising questions about the motives for the government's decision.

Sinaloa Cartel-Linked Drug Network Dismantled in El Salvador

Sinaloa Cartel-Linked Drug Network Dismantled in El Salvador

Authorities in El Salvador have captured nearly two dozen members of a criminal network with ties to the Sinaloa Cartel, highlighting the importance of Central America's Northern Triangle region to the hemisphere's most powerful drug trafficking organization. 

Divine Intervention: The El Salvador Gang Members Who Found God

Divine Intervention: The El Salvador Gang Members Who Found God

It's happening in the streets, in the communities still controlled by gangs, and in the segregated prisons. It's a phenomenon which, despite being hard to believe at first, has been recognized by prison authorities: Hundreds of gang members are abandoning and outright rejecting their gangs, opting instead for the teachings of evangelical churches. In Gotera prison, close to 500 members of the Barrio 18 have retired from gang life and are now saying that they have no relation with the group. In some communities in San Salvador, ex-members of the MS13 openly preach in rival territory. Is El Salvador ready...

Negotiations Between El Salvador Govt, MS13 Prove Elusive

Negotiations Between El Salvador Govt, MS13 Prove Elusive

The administration of El Salvador President Salvador Sánchez Cerén insists that it will not negotiate with the MS13 gang, which made a public proposal at the beginning of January that included its own dismantlement. The most recent signals coming from the government suggest that the proposal won't be taken seriously. Nonetheless, there are also indications that parallel attempts at dialogue could be made.

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.