The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas
El Salvador's top prosecutor says he will use the government's anti-terrorism laws to prosecute gang members who attack police, opening the way for even tougher persecution of gangs and further blurring the lines between organized crime and terrorism in the region.
Two wildly divergent views of what is happening with the truce between El Salvador's two foremost gangs converge in one important way: they both paint a bleak picture for the near future of the fragile agreement and of the country.
Authorities in Central America have dismantled a drug trafficking organization the stretched between Guatemala and El Salvador and was responsible for drugs that entered schools and a prison, with the investigation revealing a network of disparate criminal elements with women in prominent roles.
As part of a tax evasion investigation, El Salvador prosecutors have seized documents and searched properties belonging to Texis Cartel leader "El Chepe Diablo" and two key business partners, in a sign that the elusive cartel kingpin may yet fall for financial crimes.
Following two highly organized attacks on police carried out by heavily armed street gangs, authorities in El Salvador are warning the gangs have expanded their territorial influence, increased their criminal activities, and acquired more powerful weaponry.
Political scientist Juan Carlos Garzon takes a closer look at the relationship between El Salvador's maras and transnational drug trafficking, finding that these ties are often exaggerated and serve to obscure arguably more significant problems, such as the country's role as a money laundering hotspot.
A top Catholic Church leader in El Salvador said the truce between the country's two main gangs had not worked following the most violent month in the two years since the pact was signed.
Police say a now dismantled cell of the MS13 in Spain was led by Salvadorans sent to set up a local branch of the notorious street gang, which if true would be confirmation the El Salvador mara is looking to establish European operations connected to their Latin American ones.
Anonymous intelligence sources say El Salvador's street gangs held military training sessions for their most loyal and lethal members and are getting involved in international drug trafficking, a provocative allegation that comes amidst a volatile political transition and a highly contentious gang truce.
Six gangs in El Salvador have announced they wish to continue a two-year old truce during the new presidential term, raising the question: what do the gangs have to gain from maintaining a seemingly unraveling agreement?