sábado, 28 de junio de 2014

El Salvador arrests 100 suspected gangsters, murders rise in June

Authorities in El Salvador arrested in recent days around 100 suspected gangsters, mostly around San Salvador, sought for crimes commonly related to Mara gangs - murder and extortion - amid a rising toll of murders nationwide. On 26 June police detained 75 suspected members of the Mara Salvatrucha and M-18 gangs, many sought for the killings of rival gang members, but also extortion, fraud and rape, El Salvador's El Mundo reported. The suspects were held in several districts including Tonacatepeque and San Martín. The daily reported the arrests on 25 June of 15 suspected members of a gang working with the M-18, the Revolucionarios, active in the districts of Mejicanos and neighbouring Cuscatancingo. They were sought for at least four murders perpetrated in late 2013 and early 2014, but were also to be charged with extortion and car theft. Authorities counted 307 registered murders nationwide in the first 25 days of June, 167 more than for the same days in 2013, elsalvador.com reported on 27 June. That translated into a daily killing rate of just over 12 for June, indicating a definite resurgence of extreme violence in comparison with 2013 and late 2012. The websited cited the figure of 1,772 people reported as killed in criminal incidents "so far in 2014" - presumably from 1 January to 25 June. The head of the National Police, Mauricio Ramírez Landaverde, reportedly spoke days before of the new government working on "several plans" to curb violence. The Minister of Justice Benito Lara observed in turn on 25 June that murders were not happening everywhere in El Salvador, but mainly in its populated districts. He told a television programme that between 1 January and 31 May, there were no murders in 79 municipal districts, one murder only in 43, and two in 31 districts, El Mundo reported on 25 June.