El Salvador News: Violence Spikes in Central American Country, 2015 on Pace to Be Most Violent Year
El Salvador has seen violence increase throughout the country since the beginning of the year, according to reports.
This year may prove to be El Salvador's most violent if the violence continues at the same pace.
InSight Crime, an analysis site covering violence and crime in the Americas, reports El Salvador has seen an unprecedented spike in violence since January. Citing local news sources, InSight Crime reports that El Salvador saw the most violence in March than in any other month in a decade.
The country's National Civil Police reported that 481 homicides were committed in the month, an average of 16 murders per day. The previous record was October 2009 when 437 murders occurred in a month.
The record does not improve for disappearances. Per police records, El Salvador has seen 243 people go missing since the beginning of the year until Feb. 22, an average of 4.5 disappearances per day, explained InSight Crime.
President Salvador Sánchez Cerén promised last week that he would implement "the law with resolve to defeat violence" but he reached out "to those who decide to stop killing and threatening peace," according to La Prensa Grafica.
President Sanchez said he would help those who wanted to rejoin society after leaving gangs, "if their commitment is firm." He said a bill is currently in the country's legislature, which would help achieve this and hopes it is approved.
However, violence continues uncontrolled, including at the heart of the capital San Salvador, reports ElSalvador.com. The violence is at hands of thieves and gangs, which attack shop owners who do not agree to the gangs' protection.
However, InSight Crime found that El Salvador's current policy of "matching violence with more violence" is not effective as the crime rate continues to increase.
InSight Crime cites a report from La Prensa Grafica in which the National Police's inspector general, Ricardo Salvador Martinez, said: "Here we are at war."
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