The Heat: Gangs in El Savador

The Heat

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Murders have skyrocketed in El Salvador. Hundreds of people are being killed each month. The government is cracking down on two powerful gangs, but is it enough to stop the violence?

El Salvador has one of the highest murder rates in the world and the situation is only getting worse. According to the National Civil Police, there were 677 homicides in June. That’s the highest monthly total since the end of the country’s civil war in 1992.

The violence has been linked to two powerful gangs: the Mara Salvatrucha, known as MS-13, and Barrio 18.

CCTV America’s Franc Contreras provided an update from Mexico City.

The Heat began its discussion with Francisco Altschul. He’s the Ambassador of El Salvador to the United States.

Francisco Altschul on gangs in El Savador

Francisco Altschul on gangs in El Savador

Murders have skyrocketed in El Salvador. Hundreds of people are being killed each month. The government is cracking down on two powerful gangs, but is it enough to stop the violence?

The discussion continued with:

  • From Miami, Jose Miguel Cruz. He’s the Director of Research at the Latin American and Caribbean Center at Florida International University.
  • Steven Dudley is the Co-director of InSight Crime, an organization that monitors organized crime in the Americas.
  • From California, Al Valdez. He’s a nationally recognized expert on gang sociology and psychology and is currently a professor at the University of California, Irvine.
Jose Miguel Cruz, Steven Dudley and El Valdez on gangs in El Savador

Jose Miguel Cruz, Steven Dudley and El Valdez on gangs in El Savador

Murders have skyrocketed in El Salvador. Hundreds of people are being killed each month. The government is cracking down on two powerful gangs, but is it enough to stop the violence?