viernes, 25 de julio de 2014

Murders increased in El Salvador in first half 2014

El Salvador's National Civil Police declared there were 2,098 homicides or criminal killings in the country from 1 January to 23 July 2014, 863 more than the figure given for the same period in 2013, 1,235. Police cited the month of May 2014 as the most murderous so far this year, with 394 killings, with 258 homicides reported for 1-23 July, the Salvadoran daily El Mundo reported on 25 July. The country was now back to a daily murder rate of over 10, similar to rates it experienced before a 2012 ceasefire between the country's main criminal gangs, the Maras. That ceasefire showed signs of fraying in mid to late 2013 and was now effectively over. For most of 2012 however, it drastically reduced murders in the country though critics insisted extortions, the  country's most prolific criminal activity and principal means of money-making by the gangs continued unabated. The Police chief Mauricio Ramírez Landaverde told the press that police had counted 1,332 cases of extortion from 1 January to 1 June 2014, a little over 5.6 per cent less  than in the same period in 2013, La Prensa Gráfica reported on 24 July. President Salvador Sánchez Cerén had said days before that beating crime needed development and the citizenry's collective effort. He told a gathering in San Salvador that "we need to bring down the barriers impeding the country's development, but all of us need to act. Security is a matter that should interest us all," La Prensa Gráfica reported on 18 July.