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Excerpt: "Through September, 4,942 people had been murdered in the Central American nation, where a third of the population lives below the official poverty line. More than 500 of those killed were children."


El Salvador's Gang War Kills More Than 500 Children This Year

By teleSUR

07 October 15

 

Once considered a success story, murders have skyrocketed since the country’s gangs broke a 2012 truce.

l Salvador’s murder rate continues to soar, with gang violence blamed for what the government says is a 72 percent increase in murders in the first nine months of 2015 over the same period last year.

"It is a terrible tragedy," Miguel Fortin, director of the institute that tracks homicides, told reporters on Tuesday. "It is a whole generation that is dying."

Through September, 4,942 people had been murdered in the Central American nation, where a third of the population lives below the official poverty line. More than 500 of those killed were children.

In 2012, El Salvador was considered a success story and a model for others dealing with criminal violence after the country’s leading gangs announced a truce that cut the country’s homicide rate in half. By 2014, however, that truce was shattered and, despite an attempt to restore the peace, more people have been killed in 2015 so far than in all of 2011.

El Salvador is home to more than 60,000 gang members out of a population of just 6.1 million. Many of the country’s most infamous criminal organizations, such as MS-13 and Barrio 18, were actually founded in the United States by Salvadorans who had fled their country’s civil war in the 1980s. That conflict, fueled by the U.S. government’s support for El Salvador’s former military dictatorship and associated right-wing paramilitaries, killed more than 70,000 people, including 20,000 members of the leftist FMLN, which now governs the country.

After spending time in U.S. prisons, thousands of gang members who came to the U.S. as refugees were deported back to El Salvador.

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