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Barrio 18

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El Salvador Seizing Thousands of Guns but Flow of Weapons Continues

Salvadoran authorities recently claimed that an anti-gang campaign has led to thousands of weapons being seized. But the numbers and types of weapons seized are...
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The El Salvador President’s Informal Pact with Gangs

El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele has vehemently denied swapping favors with gangs, but a slew of government officials and a person working directly with the...
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The ‘Protection Racket,’ Gangs and Violence in San Salvador

For San Salvador resident Humberto Reyes, a sunny morning in the Historic Center’s sprawling markets began with two shots in the back of the...
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From Predators to Partners: How Gangs are Taking San Salvador

This is the second part of a three-part series on San Salvador’s Historic Center, the heart of the country’s informal urban markets and a long-time bastion of...
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How El Salvador President Bukele Deals with Gangs

It was late 2016 and officials in San Salvador were preparing for the grand opening of a sparkling new market in the city’s Historic...
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3 Dirty Secrets Revealed by the El Salvador Gang ‘Negotiations’

The El Faro media group reported that the El Salvador government is “negotiating” with street gangs to keep homicide levels low, which may come as a surprise to...
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Honduras Unable to Curb Rising Violence Inside Prisons

Targeted killings, massacres, and deadly riots have all occurred in Honduras' maximum-security prisons this year, putting a spotlight on how violence has spiraled...
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Homicide Drop in El Salvador: Presidential Triumph or Gang Trend?

El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has credited his crime-fighting plan for a 60 percent drop in homicides this year. But the country’s violent street gangs...
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El Salvador Arrests General Behind 2012 Gang Truce

Salvadoran authorities have arrested General David Munguía Payés, a former defense minister who spearheaded a controversial truce between the government of former...
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Gang Violence Increasingly Spreading to Women’s Prisons in Honduras

Deadly violence within female prisons in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador is rare. But a spate of recent murders in a Honduran prison appears to be a warning...
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Coronavirus Rattles Barrio 18 Structure in Guatemala

Police in Guatemala say the economic pressures stemming from the coronavirus lockdown are exacerbating internal divisions within the Barrio 18 street gang, a...
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Eruption of Gang Violence Belies Bukele’s Security Wins in El Salvador

El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele has lashed out after several days of bloodshed amid a coronavirus lockdown, blaming the spike in killings on gangs. But in...