September was the month with the highest murder rate in 2017
Leer en Español: Un septiembre sangriento para El Salvador
El Salvador showed a considerable decrease in its murder rates throughout the year in comparison to those of 2016. However, the past month of September seemed to show a raise in its homicide statistics. According to the National Civil Police (PNC) of the Central American country, the past month was the most gory of 2017. There were 435 murders registered, 28.3% more than August and almost 27% more than in September 2016.
On the last day of the month, 23 people were killed: 19 of them civilians and 4 who were allegedly part of a gang. This shows that the Mara Salvatrucha, and the gangs, in general, are the main problem threatening El Salvador's security. The PNC assures that 50% of the murders in 2017 were due to gang members.
The authorities are dealing with two hypotheses to try and explain the increase of murders. Howard Cotto, director of the National Civil Police, explained that the increase of homicides in the last month was "due to the internal conflict of the Mara Salvatrucha gang". According to their intelligence work, the members of the MS are fighting to control economic resources and goods. This internal conflict creates a faction called MS-503. The second option is that the Maras are increasing their actions to pressure politicians in order for them to set free follow gang members.
According to the NGO Citizen Council for Public Security And Criminal Justice, San Salvador is the 7th most violent city in the world with a murder rate of 83.39 per 100,000 people. After September data, in 2017, 14.5 people are killed each day in the country.
Latin American Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández
Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto