May 2022, one of the safest months in the history of El Salvador

By Karla Ramos  | Updated on Jun 1st, 2022
San Salvador El Salvador
The city of San Salvador.

According to information provided by the Salvadoran National Police (PNC) regarding homicides, May 2022 is one of the safest months in the history of El Salvador. This month, the Salvadoran police reported 17 homicides for a 0.55 daily average.

These are incredible numbers for a nation that in 2015 was considered to be the Murder Capital of the World. In 2015, El Salvador had an average of 18.2 daily homicides.

The PNC also reported that during May, 13 members of criminal organizations lost their lives in alternations with security forces. These deaths were not counted as part of the daily May average.

Even if these 13 deaths are taken into account, the total homicides for the month are 30 for a 0.97 daily average. This is still the lowest daily homicide rate in over 30 years.

This record-setting month happened during the State of Exception. During this time, the country’s security forces have apprehended more than 36,000 alleged gang members. These arrests helped make May one of the safest months in Salvadoran history.

We continue to combat terrorist structures head-on. More than 36,000 terrorists have been captured since the Exception Regime began; the war against gangs does not stop.” Ministry of Public Security of El Salvador.

Since the Territorial Control Plan began in June 2019, under the Bukele administration, there have been over 125 days without reported homicides.

It is a high achievement compared with only two days of zero homicides in the previous three administrations (15 years).

Zero homicides (for the seventh consecutive day). A small comparison: in all the 5 years of the previous government, there was not a single day with 0 homicides. We’ve gone 7 days without homicides in a week. We continue…” President Nayib Bukele.

The homicide rate in El Salvador has been consistently declining since 2015. However, it has taken a fast decline during the Nayib Bukele administration.

Salvadoran authorities assert that this decrease in violent deaths is thanks to measures such as the security State of Exception and the Territorial control plan.

However, organizations and individuals critical of the Bukele administration claim that the reduction in homicides is due to a secret truce between the government and criminal gangs.

The territorial control plan and the State of Exception have the approval of most Salvadorans.

A survey by CID Gallup showed that over 90% of Salvadorans approve of the actions taken by the Salvadoran Government against criminals.

Furthermore, a survey by the IUDOP of the UCA university shows that 66.2% of Salvadorans believe the massive captures during the state of exception are part of the Government’s security strategy. The IUDOP survey gave the State of Exception of 7.99 rating out of a possible 10.

Lastly, a survey by La Prensa Grafica showed that 73.9% of Salvadorans approve of the State of Exception requested by President Nayib Bukele.

In late May, the Salvadoran Legislature extended the State of Exception for another 30 days to June 25th.

The Territorial Control Plan and the State of Exception are the tools the Government uses to fight gangs and has made May one of the Safest months in Salvadoran History.

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