In a new report based on extensive field research, InSight Crime and the Asociacion para una Sociedad mas Justa have traced how Honduras' two largest gangs, the MS13 and the Barrio 18, are evolving, and how their current modus operandi has resulted in staggering levels of violence and extortion.
An internal investigation alleges that 81 police officers in Honduras, including high-ranking officials, have been working for an MS13 gang leader and participated in horrific crime sprees that include the massacre of 12 people at a pool hall.
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.
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.
The government of El Salvador's militarized campaign against the country's street gangs has been met by an increasingly heavily armed reaction. El Faro's investigation indicates that the gangs' growing use of assault rifles is an echo of the civil war that ended almost 25 years ago.
The arrest in Argentina of a drug boss with apparent links to the Mara Salvatrucha has sparked fears that the Central American gang has expanded into the country, but this is far from a foregone conclusion.