El Salvador prelate calls for security rethink

Archbishop José Luis Escobar Alas of San Salvador, El Salvador, has urged the government to re-examine its anti-gang initiative amid claims that it has failed to make citizens safer from ongoing violence. 

Plan El Salvador Seguro was launched in mid-2015 towards curbing murders and extortions carried out by the country’s notorious gangs. However, while latest figures point to an 18% decrease in murders, other crime rates remaining stubbornly high, and El Salvador is bracing for a serious increase in violence amid news that gangs are planning to kill even more police and soldiers, leading Archbishop Alas to suggest that Plan El Salvador Seguro needs to be reconsidered.

“The authorities must do their duty, they must review the plans that are underway, in order to see if they are giving the expected results or not,” he stated during a press conference. “At the moment I think a review is important.”

El Salvador’s three main gangs reportedly met last October to formulate plans for increased targeting of officials.