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News > El Salvador

El Salvador Reports First Day Without Homicides in Two Years

  • A demonstrator holds a placard reading

    A demonstrator holds a placard reading "No more violence, no more Impunity, No more corruption," during a protest against violence in San Salvador. | Photo: Reuters

Published 4 August 2019

El Salvador is considered one of the world’s deadliest countries, having one of the highest homicide rates. 

El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, announced Wednesday, July 31 its the first day without a single homicide since 2017. 


Nicaragua Has Lowest Murder Rate in Central America: UN

The Salvadorean president who took office two months ago, celebrated the occasion in a statement made on his Twitter account, later confirmed by the attorney general’s office and the mortuary.

“We can confirm that we have closed the day [July, 31] with 0 homicides all through the national territory,” Bukele wrote.

This last murder-free day constitutes a rare exception in the small Central American country where violence is part of daily life. El Salvador is considered one of the world’s deadliest countries, having one of the highest homicide rates. 

Since 2000, there have been just eight days without killings in El Salvador's violent and recent history. 

Justice minister Rogelio Rivas reported that 154 killings have been registered in July 2019, which means 291 less than the same month last year.

Criminologist Ricardo Sosa said this could be seen as a sign that Bukele’s efforts against gang violence are starting to show some results, however, the difficulty is to sustain these results in a country where more than 60,000 gang members exercise daily violence and territorial control.

What a shame El Salvador goes from 1 to 10 homicides registered today, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2019.

Bukele has made the fight against violence and security improvement in the country a priority during his campaign, pledging to decrease gang violence and to set measures in order to encourage youth in a path away from crime.

In July, the government that attributes the cause of violence essentially to drug trafficking and organized crime by gang members launched a new security strategy called “Secure El Salvador.” 

The plan presented has five objectives including violence and crime prevention, improving the judicial system, working towards more effective measures to rehabilitate criminals, providing greater protections for victims, and strengthening institutions to keep citizens safe. 

The security plan would be carried out over the next few years, starting in Ciudad Delgado where it was launched, before expanding into other cities and municipalities.

The program has been criticized by some analysts worrying that the strategy is not developed enough to address the complexity of violence and insecurity in the country. The analysts denounced superficial proposals, and a lack of cooperation in the country’s legislative assembly, which could make it difficult for Bukele to bring about real change and provide hope to Salvadorans. 


Nayib Bukele
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