El Salvador: The presence and activities of Mara Salvatrucha (MS or MS) and of .. “La Ley Antipandillas aún tiene vigencia dice Iglesia. La forma en que los gobiernos de El Salvador han abordado el fenómeno de las pandillas, al menos .. al Código Penal y Procesal Penal, así como la Ley. Penitenciaria pandillas, el Grupo de Tarea Antipandillas (GTA), conformado por. La Ley de la Defensa Nacional de El Salvador () en el artículo 4 No. 1 define a la PNC analiza disolución de Subdirección Antipandillas. La Prensa .
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Sources indicated that both the MS and M are divided into loosely organized groups called “cliques” or clicas Wolf 24 June ; Professor 26 June The hierarchical organization follows a chain of command at the regional level, but there is no unique leader for either the MS or M ibid. According to the same sources, the number of gang members within cliques varies ibid.
In a telephone interview with the Research Directorate, a professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University, who conducts research on gangs in Central America, including maras, indicated that the number of gang members in cliques ranges between 15 and 30, although lower or higher numbers can be present ibid. In a telephone interview with the Research Directorate, Sonja Wolf, a researcher at the Dalvador for Security ealvador Democracy Instituto para la Seguridad y la Democracia in Mexico city, who researches security issues in Central America and Mexico, including maras in El Salvador, indicated that large cliques can reach up to members Wolf 24 June A clique is led by palabrerosor gang leaders, and which comprise of a primera palabraor first gang leader, and in some instances a segunda palabraor second gang leader ibid.
Guatemala, Honduras y El Salvador lanzan una fuerza antipandillas trinacional
According to the Professor, the MS leadership in El Salvador consists of something close to a “board” of 7 or 8 leaders who walvador all cliques in that country ibid. The M leadership in El Salvador is composed of 3 or 4 leaders ibid. Leaders are usually in prison Wolf 24 June ; Professor 26 June According to the Professor, the MS leadership works collegially to decide how conflicts with other gangs are to be managed, whereas the M leadership is not as collegial ibid.
The Professor indicated that the election of palabreros does not follow a unique pattern throughout the gang; in some cases, it is the result of internal dynamics, and in other cases it may be by imposition from “higher” leaders 26 June Wolf indicated that in some cases, the election of palabreros is democratic within the clique and that they can be substituted Wolf 24 June The number of mara members in El Salvador is difficult to establish ibid.
The Associated Press AP reports that the number of gang members in that country is more than 70, 4 Mar. Sources also indicate that there are about 10, gang members in Salvadoran prisons AP 4 Mar. The study shows that, in the municipalities where the census has already been completed, the number of gang members has increased by The study, salvadir multiplying the number of cliques recorded 1, by 15 members per clique, puts the total number of gang members in that area at 29, ibid.
The Ministry also infers thatpeople in these municipalities have ties with gang members, by using the following numbers: Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Qntipandillas.
InSight Crime asserts that the reasons for the growth of maras include the following: The World Bank adds the lack of employment opportunities, especially the high unemployment rate of youth, among other factors ibid. Sources point out that the civil war contributed to the growth of maras: InSight Crime states that it left a “culture of violence” ibid. Wolf indicated that children are also recruited by the gangs at schools and within their communities Wolf 24 June As a response, families are opting to send children to family members in other parts of the country to avoid forced recruitment ibid.
The US Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for indicates that the maras recruit children into gangs “to antipanfillas illicit activities related to the arms and drug trades, including homicide” 27 Feb.
Sources indicate that gang members can leave a gang for three reasons: These gang members are called calmados [literally “calmed down persons”], and even though they keep identifying with the gang, they are no longer involved in violence ibid. In order to become a calmadoa gang member has to ask permission ibid. However, the Professor indicated that it is now more difficult to leave a gang, including for family reasons Professor 26 June Gangs are also becoming more rigorous by demanding the exiting gang member prove his or her fidelity to the church ibid.
Also, according to Wolf, permission to leave a gang is not granted when a clique has lost many gang members Wolf 24 June She further indicated that calmados can return to the gang anytime aalvador. Both the Professor and Wolf stated that gang members who leave the gang without consent are considered “traitors” and killed ibid.
According to Wolf, retirados [retired persons] or pesetasas “traitors” are also called, may be pardoned if they are involved in Christian activities, but it is not a guarantee 24 June The territorial map of gangs in El Salvador according to this census is attached to this Response. The accused were charged with criminal association, robbery, battery, and illegal possession of firearms ibid.
Sources also report the detention of 35 people in Spain saovador to the MS and who are accused of violent robbery, battery Europa Press 25 Mar. Among the detained are two leaders of the MS who arrived from El Salvador to create a clique in Spain, according to police sources ibid. Sources lley that, from prisons in El Salvador, the maras organize kidnappings and extortions InSight Crime n. Country Reports indicates that. Officials separated gang members from the regular prison population when possible, but gangs continued to exercise influence within the prisons and judicial system.
Prisoners reportedly conducted criminal activities from their cells, at times with the complicity of prison guards. Smuggling of weapons, drugs, and other contraband such as cell phones and cell-phone SIM cards was a major problem in the prisons. El Diario de Hoya San Salvador-based newspaper, reports that 14 out of 19 penitentiary centres already have a signal-blocking mechanism 20 May Another article by El Diario de Hoy reports on a teleconference that was intercepted by Salvadoran authorities between imprisoned MS members in El Salvador and in California, in which assassinations were ordered 29 Oct.
According to InSight Crime, in addition to extortion and kidnapping, maras engage in drug trafficking and assassinations by hire InSight Crime n.
The US Department of the Treasury indicates that the “MS has been involved in serious criminal activity, in the United States and around the world, including human smuggling, sex trafficking, drug trafficking, kidnapping, murder, assassinations, racketeering, blackmail, extortion, and immigration offenses” US 5 June For the first time, in Octoberthe Department designated a criminal street gang, the MS, as a “transnational criminal organization” and, on 5 Junespecifically designated six of its members in accordance with Executive Orderwhich, among other stipulations, prohibits US persons and businesses from engaging in any transactions with them and freezes any of their assets under US jurisdiction ibid.
Gangs are responsible for more than 50 percent of homicides committed in El Salvador, and 35 percent of the victims are antkpandillas members AP 4 Mar.
In a report titled Global Study on Homicide The president of the ATP also indicated that when a complaint is filed with the police, gang members become aware of the complaint, and this salvvador to an “increase of homicides in the public transport” or, as noted by a bus driver also quoted in the article, a “doubling” of the extortion amount ibid.
El Diario de Hoy reports that, according to the Salvadoran Chamber of Commerce and Industry, two companies close every week on average in the country, due to extortion by gangs and unpaid antipandllas from the government as a client El Diario de Hoy 13 June According to the article, most companies pay extortion monthly or weekly to antipanndillas ibid.
Asamblea Legislativa convierte en delito pactos con pandillas –
The article indicates that gangs are also opening businesses, buying motor rickshaws, and organizing private [translation] “security services” ibid. He indicated that 60 people have been arrested in El Salvador in connection with this extortion and that complaints to the embassy have dropped to [translation] “almost half” in comparison to ibid. InSight Crime reports that maras engage in the local distribution of drugs, selling crack, cocaine, amphetamines, and marijuana “in mostly poor neighborhoods” n.
The police officer added that the MS is more involved in the trafficking of [translation] “large quantities” of drugs, whereas the M deals drugs in “smaller quantities” ibid. Further information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response. The Minister also indicated that some weapons are also obtained through [translation] “armament leaks” from the armed forces and the police ibid.
According to the Minister of Justice and Public Safety, gang members infiltrate these institutions to [translation] “thwart security plans and get training” ibid. In Marchthe truce announced by gang leaders contributed to lower the rate of homicides in the country Agencia EFE 9 Mar.
Sources add that the gang leaders belonged to the MS and the M ibid. Sources report that before the truce, the number of homicides was 14 ibid. The same sources report that after the truce, the number of homicides was reduced to about 5 per day ibid.
However, other crimes such as extortions and assaults persisted ibid. The UNODC report indicates that, even though extortion levels “appear to have decreased slightly since the truce” began, they are “still extremely high throughout the country, particularly its eastern region” UN Mar.
According to the Chief of the PNC, between 1 January and 1 Marchassassinations were committed, more than the number committed during the same period of ibid.
The burial site, which is attributed to the M, hides the remains of 44 people ibid. The GlobalPost, an online news portal, cites the Director of the medical examiner’s office in San Salvador Instituto de Medicina LegalIML as saying that all the victims were murdered during the truce and that not all of them were gang members 29 Jan. Sources also report that disappearances increased to more than 1, in GlobalPost 29 Jan.
A copy of the law is attached to this Response. However, El Mundo cites the Minister of Justice and Public Safety as saying that the government will keep applying the law ibid. A study published by the World Bank on public expenditures on public safety and justice in El Salvador indicates that, according to the PNC, the institution counted 21, police officers among its ranks at the end of World Bank 14 June 46, para.
The article quotes the chief of the PNC as saying that, even though the institution would like to have more, they have [translation] “the necessary resources and capacity” to deal with crime ibid. AP reports that as of 15 Aprilthree police officers had been killed in the attacks and 11 injured, according to authorities AP 16 Apr. Sources report that the Minister of Justice and Public Safety reached an agreement with the Attorney General’s Office to charge persons involved in attacks on police officers under the antiterrorism law ibid.
The Special Law Against Acts of Terrorism Ley Especial contra Actos de Terrorismo of stipulates prison sentences between 40 and 60 years for attacks against police officers and other public servants El SalvadorArt.
The article adds that the number of thefts stayed [translation] “more or less the same” from 1 January to 21 August compared to the same period of the previous year ibid.
Although the constitution provides for an independent judiciary, the judiciary suffered from inefficiency, corruption, political infighting, and insufficient resources. Substantial corruption in the judicial system contributed to a high level of impunity, undermining the rule of law and the public’s respect for the judiciary.
The criminal conviction rate was less than 5 percent. An ineffective public security strategy, inadequate government funding and training of the PNC, and ineffective senior-level leadership made it difficult to identify, arrest, and prosecute perpetrators of human rights abuses and other crimes, thus diminishing public confidence in the justice system.
Intimidation and killing of police officers, crime victims, and witnesses created a climate of fear, complicating investigation of violent crime and other alleged human rights abuses.
The World Bank report indicates that there is [translation] “little” coordination between public safety agencies, and that the low performance of safety and justice institutions undermines public trust in them World Bank 14 Juneparas. The report also indicates that public expenditures in crime investigations are [translation] “low” compared to other aspects of public safety, and expenditures in the judicial system lowered from 38 percent of the total budget in security in to 31 percent in ibid.
The report further indicates that the conviction rate antipndillas was The report indicates that problems with the independency of the judiciary [translation] “seem to persist,” and that there are cases of corruption antipamdillas extortion with some members of the PNC, as well as cases of bribery in tribunals ibid. The Law offers three types of protection measures:. There are also urgent measures, which are a combination of ordinary and extraordinary measures leu [translation] “immediately” and temporarily according to the risk, before a permanent solution is found ibid.
La Ley Antimaras es represión necesaria, pero no es la solución. – Hunnapuh – Comentarios
antlpandillas The program for the protection of witnesses is composed of six “technical evaluation teams” that receive applications for protection and are distributed as follows:. The article cites the case of a witness who provided testimony without these two elements; six hours later, this person lost a son and a niece, who were killed during an attack on the witness’ house ibid. Country Reports indicates that “[a]s of July, the PNC was providing protection to 52 victims and 89 witnesses.
However, some judges denied anonymity to witnesses at trial, and gang intimidation and violence against witnesses contributed to a climate of impunity from criminal prosecution” US 27 Feb.
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints.
This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
El Diario de Hoy. Lucinda Quintanilla salvadod Jenny Ventura.