The recent surge of deadly violence in El Salvador has caught the attention of the world's press. More than 110 murders happened in the country between Saturday, May 15 and Tuesday, May 19. The average during May exceeds 20 murders a day. The greatest amount of bloodshed is occurring in the eastern part of the country in the departments of Usulután and San Miguel.
The only obvious response of the government has been to use more force, more militarization, and more aggressive tactics. Those tactics have been met with equivalent escalations on the side of the gangs who war among themselves and against the police and armed forces. This is the story being told in the world's press:
- El Salvador is on pace to become the hemisphere’s most deadly nation -- Washington Post.
- Photo gallery which accompanied Washington Post story.
- El Salvador gangs target police after failed truce -- Al Jazeera
- 250+ Gang Attacks on El Salvador Security Forces in 2015 -- InsightCrime
- El Salvador’s gang truce: a lost opportunity? -- openSecurity website
With the approaching events this weekend surrounding the beatification of Oscar Romero, one wonders if the approach to this decade's violence could be found in the words of the slain archbishop and his example:
- As violence spirals, Salvadorans look to Oscar Romero as example -- National Catholic Reporter
- What would Oscar Romero say today about El Salvador? -- Religion News Service
But somewhat incredibly, one government official blamed the recent spike in violence on the gangs seeking to exploit the world's attention being focused on El Salvador for the beatification:
Life has become too cheap in El Salvador.