The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, proclaimed this Friday that more than 15,000 gang members were arrested in almost a month as part of an offensive of the police and the Armed Forces that stopped a rebound in homicides.
(Read here: El Salvador: police say they must meet a quota for gang arrests)
“More than 15,000 terrorists (gang members) captured in just 27 days. We continue War Against Gangs”The ruler wrote on Twitter.
The Police reported that on Thursday they captured 484 gang members and from 15,055 since the beginning of the offensive on March 26an unprecedented figure in the last 30 years in this Central American country.
(You may be interested in: The IAPA rejects the ‘criminalization’ of journalism in El Salvador)
El Salvador suffers the siege of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18, among others, which add up to 70,000 members, of which 31,000 are incarcerated.
“91% of Salvadorans support the War Against Gangs promoted by our government”Bukele assured, based on a survey published on Thursday by CID Gallup.
The survey highlighted that 78% of Salvadorans agree with the fight against gangs, 13% said they somewhat agree, 5% slightly agree, and 4% said they disagree at all.
Bukele declared war on the gangs that operate in his territory, after the murder of 87 people between March 25 and 27crimes that the authorities linked to the actions of these criminal groups.
At the request of the president, Congress, controlled by the ruling party, decreed an emergency regime on March 27which allows arrests without a court order, and a reform to punish gang members with up to 45 years in prison.
The reform also includes punishing the dissemination of gang messages in the media with up to 15 years in prison. With the offensive, the authorities managed to stop the homicidal escalation since March 28.
Human rights organizations have denounced the detention of innocent people in the raids carried out by the authorities nationwide.
(In other news: Bukele vs. the gangs: keys to understanding the offensive against the gangs)
Attorney General Rodolfo Delgado declared Thursday that “the honest population has nothing to fear” because “emphasis is placed on verifying if any person is involved” with criminal groups.
“Let’s remember that the gangs have a social base of support in their acquaintances and collaborators to carry out their criminal actions,” explained Delgado.
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