April 2024: One of the Safest Months in El Salvador in Over Four Decades

April 2024 Ended With 13 Homicides and 19 Days Without Murders

By Eddie Galdamez  | Updated on May 2nd, 2024
Plaza Libertad El SalvadorLiberty Plaza in San Salvador

Based on homicides, April 2024 enters the list of the safest months in El Salvador in over 40-plus years. April 2024 ended with 13 homicides for a 0.43 daily rate; additionally, it achieved 19 days with zero homicides.

April ended with seven more homicides than February 2024, the safest month in El Salvador in over four decades. February 2024 concluded with six homicides for a 0.21 daily rate and 24 days without murders.

April 2024 is the 12th month during the Bukele administration that the daily homicide rate in El Salvador has been under 0.50; it is an impressive accomplishment considering that in 2019, the year Bukele took office, the daily murder rate was 6.57.

Safest Months in El Salvador (Based on Homicides)
Month Days without homicides Homicides Daily Homicide Rate
1 February 2024 24 6 0.21 PNC Link
2 July 2023 23 8 0.26 PNC Link
3 January 2024 24 9 0.29 PNC Link
4 November 2023 23 9 0.30 PNC Link
5 March 2024 22 10 0.32 PNC Link
6 April 2023 24 10 0.33 PNC Link
7 June 2023 21 10 0.33 PNC Link
8 September 2023 20 10 0.33 PNC Link
9 January 2023 21 11 0.35 PNC Link
10 March 2023 20 12 0.39 PNC Link
11 April 2024 19 13 0.43 PNC Link
12 December 2022 22 14 0.45 PNC Link

The safest months in El Salvador do not include the deaths of alleged gang members who have died in confrontations with the Salvadoran National Police or military security forces, 120 in 2022, 38 in 2023, and two thus far in 2024.

El Salvador’s security has drastically improved to new low levels since Nayib Bukele became president on June 1, 2019. For example, April 2024 is the 25th consecutive month that the daily homicide rate for the country has been under one.

Furthermore, under the current administration, El Salvador has achieved over 565 days with zero homicides. The days with zero homicides in El Salvador are remarkable, considering that before the Nayib Bukele Administration, El Salvador had experienced less than five days with zero homicides in 15 years.

Daily Homicide Rate Under President Bukele
Month 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
January 9.29 3.87 3.58 2.65 0.35 0.29
February 7.14 4.36 3.86 2.71 0.50 0.21
March 7.68 2.19 3.61 5.32 0.39 0.32
April 10.87 4.90 3.50 0.77 0.33 0.43
May 9.23 2.13 3.77 0.52 0.55 1.00
June 7.70 2.43 2.93 0.87 0.33
July 5.03 3.74 2.94 0.55 0.26
August 4.19 4.10 1.84 0.61 0.52
September 4.93 4.37 2.03 0.63 0.33
October 4.00 5.10 2.61 0.61 0.65
November 4.60 3.30 4.03 0.63 0.30
December 4.19 3.71 3.06 0.45 0.55

SEE ALSO: Living in El Salvador: Top Reasons for Moving to El Salvador

Homicides per Month Under President Bukele
Month 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024
January 288 120 111 82 11 9
February 207 122 108 76 14 6
March 238 68 112 165 12 10
April 326 147 105 23 10 13
May 286 66 117 16 17 4
June 231 72 88 26 10
July 156 116 91 17 8
August 130 126 57 19 16
September 148 131 61 19 10
October 122 158 82 19 20
November 136 100 120 20 9
December 130 115 95 14 17
Total 2398 1341 1147 496 154 42

2023 ended as the safest year in El Salvador in over 40 plus years; this year, 154 people were murdered, for a daily homicide rate of 0.42 or 2.4 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.

Since the 90s, Salvadorans have grappled with persistent security concerns, navigating challenges that impact daily life. However, in 2024, life in El Salvador is better since security has improved.

Reduction in homicides is one of the main achievements of the Nayib Bukele administration.

Salvadoran authorities credit the implementation of the Territorial Control Plan and the State of Exception launched on March 27, 2022, for the impressive homicide reduction. Both plans have allowed Salvadoran authorities to remove gang members from the streets.

The Territorial Control Plan launched in 2019 has seven phases: Preparation, opportunity, modernization, incursion, extraction, and integration. Phase seven is unknown at this time.

The Regime of Exception was approved last March by the Legislative Assembly at the request of Bukele. Since then, the number of homicides has dropped substantially.

During this exception regime, more than 78,000 people have been detained – suspected of being gang members or collaborators. The controversial security measure has been extended over 25 times.

National and international human rights organizations have criticized the Regime of Exception for human rights violations, arbitrary arrests, and the death of inmates in prisons.

However, surveys conducted during the State of Exception have shown that the majority of Salvadorans approve of this controversial measure.