Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes said Monday that the drop in murders this year shows that the prevailing gang truce “has not failed,” while noting that this was not a strategy of his government.
“Our strategy is based on boosting public security forces’ crime-fighting capability,” Funes said after taking part in an official event.
As of Dec. 23 last year, this Central American country had “2,543 homicides and today we have 2,426 homicides, 117 homicides less,” the president said.
At the same time, the number of murdered women has dropped, seeing that last year up to Dec. 23 there were 317 women killed, while this year “we have 212, in other words, 105 fewer, a reduction of 33 percent,” he said.
From the point of view of security planning, Funes said, “we’re fine…but of course we still believe there’s a lot more to do so that Salvadoran men and women can live together in an atmosphere of peace, safety and harmony.”
The truce, launched in March 2012, was promoted by the biggest gangs in the country, Mara Salvatrucha and Pandilla 18.
Since the truce went into effect, murders have diminished by 52 percent, according to the authorities.
Despite the decline in murders, the number of missing persons has almost doubled, rising from 545 last year to 1,070 so far this year, according to police figures.
Police Chief Rigoberto Pleites said recently that the number of missing persons is being “analyzed,” since “many of them…have possibly been killed.”