Police investigation in El Salvador

The number of reported massacres in El Salvador appear to have risen significantly, again raising the question of whether this is primarily the result of gang-on-gang violence or whether there are other factors at play. 

Citing figures from El Salvador’s National Civil Police (PNC), La Prensa Grafica reported that the number of "multiple homicide" cases, involving three or more victims, has risen to 83 in 2015.

According to La Prensa Grafica, there have been 57 triple homicides in 2015 thus far, compared to 23 triple homicides in 2014. In total, police statistics show that thus far in 2015, there were 370 cases that involved more than two homicide victims, compared to 196 such cases in 2014, the newspaper reported. 

Public transport violence has also grown significantly in the past year, according to a recent report by El Diario de Hoy. There have been 129 killings involving bus drivers, passengers, and others in 2015 thus far. The number of public transport employees killed has increased from 64 in 2014 to 79 in 2015.

This increase in massacres and public transport killings has helped contribute to record-breaking levels of violence in El Salvador. There were 907 reported homicides in August, the highest since El Salvador’s civil war, which ended in 1992.

InSight Crime Analysis

Gang-on-gang violence, police-gang confrontations, and perhaps even the existence of mysterious death squads have all contributed to El Salvador's rise in homicides. However, lack of government resources means the majority of these deaths are not fully investigated.

SEE MORE: El Salvador News and Profiles

There have been conflicting accounts over whether the majority of homicide victims are linked to El Salvador's gangs or not. Adding to the confusion, there are documented cases of the police using excessive force during their operations, indiscriminately killing criminal suspects rather than following proper procedures.

There is also evidence of gang members aggressively targeting those linked to the security forces and the government. One alleged gang leader, recently taken into custody, stands accused of a triple homicide: the father and two children of a police officer. The gangs have also been blamed for planting explosives near police stations and other government buildings. 

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
Prev Next

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Murder

  Life of a Sicario Anatomy of a Hit   The BACRIM's control over territories such as the north Colombian region of Bajo Cauca comes at the point of a gun, and death is a constant price of their power.

Closing the Gaps on Firearms Trafficking in Honduras

Closing the Gaps on Firearms Trafficking in Honduras

As set out in this report, the legal structure around Honduras' arms trade is deeply flawed. The legislation is inconsistent and unclear as to the roles of different institutions, while the regulatory system is insufficiently funded, anachronistic and administered by officials who are overworked or susceptible to...

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

Nariño, Colombia: Ground Zero of the Cocaine Trade

The department of Nariño in southwest Colombia is the main coca-producing area in the country and in the world. It is a place scarred by poverty and years of armed conflict between guerrillas, the state and paramilitary groups. Perhaps nowhere else in the country are the challenges...

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. 

Counting Firearms in Honduras

Counting Firearms in Honduras

Estimates vary widely as to how many legal and illegal weapons are circulating in Honduras. There are many reasons for this. The government does not have a centralized database that tracks arms seizures, purchases, sales and other matters concerning arms possession, availability and merchandising. The laws surrounding...

Trafficking Firearms Into Honduras

Trafficking Firearms Into Honduras

Honduras does not produce weapons,[1] but weapons are trafficked into the country in numerous ways. These vary depending on weapon availability in neighboring countries, demand in Honduras, government controls and other factors. They do not appear to obey a single strategic logic, other than that of evading...

Trafficking Firearms in Honduras

Trafficking Firearms in Honduras

The weapons trade within Honduras is difficult to monitor. This is largely because the military, the country's sole importer, and the Armory, the sole salesmen of weapons, do not release information to the public. The lack of transparency extends to private security companies, which do not have...

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Money

  Drugs Extortion Criminal Cash Flows Millions of dollars in dirty money circulate constantly around Bajo Cauca, flowing upwards and outwards from a broad range of criminal activities. The BACRIM are the chief regulators and beneficiaries of this shadow economy.

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

InSide Colombia's BACRIM: Power

  The Bajo Cauca Franchise BACRIM-Land Armed Power Dynamics The BACRIM in places like the region of Bajo Cauca are a typical manifestation of Colombia's underworld today: a semi-autonomous local cell that is part of a powerful national network.