March 9, 2021

El Salvador deploys a thousand soldiers to take control of five cities from the Maras

The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, on Monday deployed 1,000 new soldiers to try to snatch gang control over five cities, which were outside of a plan launched on June 20.

These are the cities of Chalatenango (north), Sensuntepeque (northeast), San Francisco Gotera (northeast), San Vicente (east) and Zacatecoluca.

Bukele, who came to the center of San Salvador to review the new elements of the Army, said that this group is part of the 3,000 military with which it seeks to strengthen its security plan.

The president, criticized by various sectors for militarizing public security, said that the use of the Army is supported by the Constitution, which gives him the power to use it when "all other options to pacify" the national territory have ended.

"In the name of the Salvadoran people and as their general commander I welcome you to the Armed Forces. On their shoulders is the glory of our institution, on their weapons is the glory of our country," Bukele said.

With this deployment they add 7,000 elements of the National Civil Police (PNC) and the Army concentrated in 22 locations, with which the Bukele Executive seeks to regain control of the territories and cut off the sources of gang financing.

"We are not going to give truce to crime, we are going to win that battle," said Bukele, of the right-wing Grand Alliance for National Unity (WINS).

The Government recently asked Congress for $ 91 million to fund the second stage of its plan, which includes programs in the communities with the presence of gangs to try to challenge the recruitment of young people to the "maras".

The authorities in El Salvador hold MS13, Barrio 18 and other minority gangs responsible for the high homicide rates, between 103 and 50.3 per 100,000 inhabitants between 2015 and 2018, figures that put the nation as one of the most violent of the world.

The gangs, a phenomenon considered as a heritage of the civil war (1980-1992) and which was strengthened with the deportation of gang members from the United States, have resisted the security plans implemented in the last four Administrations.

. (tagsToTranslate) Salvador (t) deploys (t) soldiers (t) control (t) cities

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