From January to October 2021, authorities have recorded 936 gang-related murders, a noticeably higher number than the 2,144 murders reported in the same period in 2019.
In response to the murder of 30 people in the last two days, El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele ordered the Army and the Police to crackdown on armed criminals across the country.
Law enforcement officers and troops were deployed at the areas where the murders took place. President Bukele’s administrations will announce more measures in the coming hours.
The rise in violence is related to violent gangs that have plagued the country for years. And the situation has worsened during the Bukele administration. From January to October 2021, authorities have recorded 936 gang-related murders, a noticeably higher number than the 2,144 murders reported in the same period in 2019.
Bukele's supporters commented on social networks conspiracy theories that link the murders to the political opposition in the country.
Over the next decade, El Salvador will need to pay off billions of dollars in debt. Given that the nation's bonds are currently trading in distressed territory, it will be very expensive to refinance this debt in the future. Unsurprisingly, #Bitcoin is to blame. pic.twitter.com/7YOSzqJoNq— Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) November 11, 2021
The National Police has already apprehended several members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) gang and 18th Street gang (18S). There has been no evidence of political motivation behind the attacks.
These criminal organizations were formed in the United States decades ago when Salvadorans were fleeing the civil war. In 1990, President Bill Clinton deported foreign-born residents with criminal records and thus increased insecurity in Central American countries.
Human rights specialists have warned that an increase in military presence will not solve the problem. Critics believe that the contry's militarization is an attempt to increase Bukele’s authority and preemptively squash political opposition.