The number of children in El Salvador abandoning school due to gang threats has risen dramatically in recent years, illustrating some of the particular impacts the country's dire security situation has had on young people.
El Salvador’s three main gangs have moved toward forming a common front with a coordinating committee and a nonaggression pact that prohibits the invasion of other gangs’ territories and kill missions targeting members of rival gangs.
El Salvador's attorney general cautioned security forces against turning the country into the "Wild West" as authorities reported a string of shootouts that ended with eight gang members dead and a report surfaced indicating a spike in killings with multiple victims.
A new report says an increasing number of Central Americans are fleeing south to escape gang violence and seeking asylum in Costa Rica, a dynamic which may be linked to the stepped-up deportations of migrants by the United States.
El Salvador officials have attributed a steady decline in the violence-wracked country’s homicide rate to the government’s crackdown on gangs, but it is too early to confirm this causal relationship or to determine whether the improvement will endure.