January 2023, the safest month in El Salvador since the end of the Civil War

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Feb 1st, 2023
Plaza Libertad El Salvador
Liberty Plaza in San Salvador

January 2023 is the safest month in El Salvador since the Salvadoran civil war ended in 1991. This month, the Salvadoran National Police reported 11 homicides for a 0.4 daily murder rate. January broke the record achieved on December 2022, which had 14 homicides for a 0.45 homicide rate.

2022 ended as the safest year in El Salvador in over 30 years; the average daily homicide rate was 1.4, with a rate of 7.8 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. These stats do not include alleged gang members killed while in confrontation with Salvadoran authorities.

This year marks a milestone in the history of El Salvador, an unprecedented event, 2022 becomes the safest year. As the Security Cabinet of our President Nayib Bukele, we have a firm commitment to continue building a free and secure country.” Gustavo Villatoro, Minister of Justice and Public Security.

Reduction in homicides is one of the main achievements of the Nayib Bukele administration. According to the Salvadoran Government, during the Bukele administration, El Salvador has achieved over 290 days with zero homicides, an impressive accomplishment considering that a few years ago, El Salvador was one of the most dangerous countries worldwide.

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

The Territorial Control Plan launched in 2019 has five phases: preparation, opportunity, modernization, incursion, and extraction. Two more phases are not publicly known right now.

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 60,000 people have been detained – suspected of being gang members or collaborators. The controversial security measure has been extended over ten times.

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

However, surveys conducted during the State of Exception (LPG Datos & IUDUP) have shown that the majority of Salvadorans approve of this controversial measure.