Bukele: 75% of gang members detained 

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By LatAm Reports Editorial Team

Bukele: 75% of gang members detained 

75% of the people who belong to the gangs of El Salvador have been arrested in the framework of the “war” declared by President Nayib Bukele, said Tuesday (02.04.2024) the Minister of Security, Gustavo Villatoro.

The official told the television station TCS that the persons arrested total 79,184 and that the authorities are working to locate the remnants. Villatoro explained that, according to the catch record we have, in general terms we can say that we are walking on 75% of what we had registered. Some 25,000 gang members would be stopped, the minister added, but clarified that not all of them are in the Central American country.

Bukele declared the “war” to the gangs on March 27, 2022 under an exceptional regime, after an escalation of 87 homicides over the weekend. With the massive military and police deployment, the Salvadoran Government would have disrupted the structures of the gangs or gangs, which were financed by the collection of extortion, hit and sale of drugs to retailers. An InSight Crime investigation estimated that there were – at the time – almost 120,000 gang members in the country: the Mara Salvatrucha had 78,000 and Barrio 18, with its two factions, about 41,000.

In a short time, the security transformation has been seen in the Central American country, Villatoro said, although human rights organizations criticize the emergency regime – which allows arrests without a warrant – for allegations of torture and deaths in state custody.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in La Prensa NI