El Salvador News & Current Events
Gang Truce Leads to Drop in Crime
In March 2012, the government in El Salvador reported a 40% drop in crime. A gang truce was the reason cited for the drastic drop. For example, in the first two months of 2012, there was an average of 16 murders per day. That number dropped to less than five killings per day in late March 2012. By April 14, 2012, there were no killings per day for the first time in over three years.
As of May 2013, there were 70,000 gang members in El Salvador, with 9,000 serving time in prison. The Alto al Crimen program, a type of Crime Stoppers, was in full operation. The program offered financial compensation for information resulting in the arrest of gang leaders.
Former Rebel Leader Narrowly Wins Presidential Election
Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a former rebel leader and the candidate of the leftist Farabundo Marti Liberation Front (FMLN), narrowly defeated Norman Quijano of the conservative Arena party, winning by less than a quarter of a percentage point in the March 2014 presidential run-off. He served as vice president under former president Mauricio Funes. In his inauguration speech, Sanchez Ceren said he would focus on fighting corruption and reducing violence.