martes, 2 de junio de 2015

May cited as El Salvador's "most violent month" in 20 years

Coroners in El Salvador counted no less than 641 murder victims nationwide in May, or 21 killings a day, indicating the return of lawlessness and gang rule to the Central American republic after a relative lull in violence over 2012-13. June was beginning "with same the tendency," the website Elsalvador.com stated on 1 June. El Salvador's El Mundo newspaper reported 19 killings nationwide, "within 12 hours" on 1 June. In a report from 31 May, Elsalvador.com observed that May 2015 would be recorded as "the most violent month of the past 20 years." The website cited the head of the state Legal Medicine department José Miguel Fortín Magaña, as saying that it was not for his agency to "attack" the government of President Salvador Sánchez Cerén for this apparent rise in violence in his first year in office. Crime was in any case already increasing by June 2014 when Mr Sánchez took office, as street gangs had effectively ended a ceasefire that sent killings, though not all crimes, plummeting for a period. The website separately quoted the national police chief as saying that the gangs were now deliberating increasing killings to intimidate the government. Mauricio Ramírez Landaverde said at an unspecified location that gangs had recently decided to "liquidate" anyone not doing their bidding, including gang members trying to flee these structures or failing to effectively charge extortion money. He did not immediatley specify how he knew this, and doubt was discernible on 31 May in comments made by the Auxiliary Archbishop of San Salvador, Gregorio Rosa Chávez, who questioned the usefulness of killing statistics. These he said, did not indicate who had been murdered by criminals, and which of the dead were themselves criminals killed in rivalries or infighting. The Church was among parties that expressed skepticism in 2013 about the sincerity of the gangs' ceasefire. On 30 May President Sánchez said he was "concerned" that the media were suggesting his government was sitting by with its "arms crossed" and doing nothing about crime. La Prensa Gráfica cited him as telling a gathering in San Juan Opico that the government had "dismantled" 200 criminal gangs and jailed 10,000 criminals, though details were not given.