El Salvador Government, violence

Not Quiet on the Eastern Front

Diario Co Latino reported Wednesday that the National Civil Police (PNC)  is increasing their presence in the Easter departments of Morazán, La Unión, and La Paz.  This is in response to the spread of gang activity into the region.  The Ministry of the Defense and the police attribute the spread to their efforts to combat gang violence in the central region.  The most likely reason is that the military has begun combating gangs in San Salvador and the surrounding areas, making it riskier for gangs to operate there.   Because of this, the gangs have begun a type of outsourcing- traveling east where they recruit new members and set up operations before returning to their original city.

The Office of Public Security arranged a meeting between COENA and members of the ARENA party to go over proposed security initiatives to combat gang activity, organized crime, and drug trafficking.  The Public Security Office has bee accepting, though not necessarily taking, the advice of various sectors of society in its effort to implement the best policies.

Our volunteer in Segundo Montes, Morazán said she has not heard anything about gang activity or increased violence.  Segundo Montes and the other municipalities around it are in a rural area, and she said that the increase in gangs and now police presence is probably in more populated areas, such as Gotera, the governmental head of Morazán.

An increase in police forces to contain the spread of gang activity is a good effort in the complicated fight against gang violence, however, the initiative’s effectiveness will ultimately depend on its management by the PNC and whether there are sufficient resources.

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