62 days without homicides in El Salvador in 2023 and 332 total under the Bukele administration

By Eddie Galdamez  | Updated on Mar 30th, 2023
Days without homicides in El Salvador
San Salvador. Image by @alcaldia_ss

Under the Bukele administration, El Salvador has reached 332 days with zero homicides in three years and ten months. It is an impressive achievement considering that before the Nayib Bukele Presidency, El Salvador had experienced less than five days with zero homicides in ten years.

To put it in context, the previous two administrations of ex-president Salvador Sanchez Ceren (2014 to 2019) and Mauricio Funes (2009 to 1014) achieved only four days with zero homicides in ten years.

This trend of days without murders is continuing in 2023. Between January 1 and March 29, 2023, the Salvadoran police registered 62 days without homicides in El Salvador.

Days without homicides since 2019
2019 2020 2021 2022 2023
January 0 0 2 3 22
February 0 1 0 1 21
March 0 4 0 3 19
** Red is President Salvador Sanchez Ceren Administration FMLN. **Sources: Salvadoran National Police. PNC

The stats of days with zero murders do not include the deaths of alleged gang members who died in confrontations with Salvadoran security forces; 120 in 2022 and nine thus far in 2023.

In June 2023, the Bukele administration will complete four years in office, and during this time, El Salvador has achieved an impressive homicide reduction. The government attributes this reduction to its territorial control Plan and the State of Exception.

The territorial control plan started in June 2019, when Nayib Bukele took office as president. The security measure has seven phases, of which five are already being implemented. The last two phases are unknown as the government hasn’t made them public.

The State of Exception began in late March 2022 as a petition of the Salvadoran Security Cabinet and was approved quickly by the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly. This security measure that restricts some constitutional guarantees has been extended 12 times since its implementation.

Undoubtedly, the days without homicides in El Salvador have drastically increased since the State of Exception began. A popular explanation for the achievement of these numbers is the arrest of over 66,000 alleged gang members or gang contributors.

Days without homicides in El Salvador

It is hard to believe that, in 2023, the days without homicides in El Salvador occur often. In 2018, the year before Nayib Bukele became president, the average daily murder rate was 9.8, and there were no days with zero homicides during that year.