Even before COVID-19, El Salvador’s prisons were contagious disease hotspots. Here, MS-13 gang members with tuberculosis at Chalatenango prison, March 29, 2019.
Marvin Recinos/AFP via Getty Images
El Salvador is arresting thousands of people for violating its COVID-19 quarantine, further packing a 'hellish' penal system once described as a 'petri dish' for infectious disease.
Street gangs that operate with impunity make El Salvador one of the world’s most violent countries. Few murders are ever solved.
MARVIN RECINOS/AFP via Getty Images
A new Human Rights Watch report finds many Salvadoran deportees are killed once home, often by the gangs they fled. Rampant impunity means El Salvador can't protect vulnerable people from violence.
El Salvador’s new president is the latest Salvadoran leader to order a police crackdown on street gangs like MS-13 and Barrio 18.
Trump officials plan to send asylum seekers from the US to El Salvador while their claims are processed. That would expose these vulnerable people to grave dangers, says a political violence expert.
Alejandro Giammattei is a former prison official whose tenure was tainted by the 2006 mass killing of seven prisoners. He was accused but never indicted on conspiracy charges in those deaths.
AP Photo/ Santiago Billy
Conservative Alejandro Giammattei beat former first lady Sandra Torres with 60% of the vote. But turnout was the lowest in Guatemala's modern history, in apparent protest of both candidates.
A man hugs his family before leaving for the U.S. border with a migrant caravan from San Salvador, El Salvador, Jan. 16, 2019.
Thousands of Central American migrants are trying to cross the U.S. southern border. One scholar followed their paths to find out why they make the dangerous, sometimes deadly, journey.
Inmates, members of MS-13 and Barrio 18 gangs, wait upon arrival at the maximum security prison in Zacatecoluca, 65 kilometres east of San Salvador, on August 9, 2017.
Marvin RECINOS / AFP
Imaginaries of gangs as inherent forms of brutal anarchy promote particular political agendas and obscure the ways gangs can reveal the underlying dynamics of the contexts within which they emerge.
Migrants from Honduras, part of the Central American caravan, trying to reach the United States in Tijuana, Mexico, in December 2018.
Immigration experts explain who's really trying to cross the US-Mexico border, what they want — and why immigration, even undocumented immigration, actually benefits the country.
Screenshot from Republican John Rose’s campaign ad ‘Build the Wall,’ which equates all immigration with the Salvadoran gang MS-13.
John Rose For Tennessee via YouTube
MS-13 is not the biggest or most violent gang in the US. But its grisly murders and Latino membership inflame Americans' anxiety about immigration. GOP campaign ads stoke those fears to attack Democrats.
Trail of Tears, a painting of a scene in Golconda, illinois. First Nations were forcefully displaced in huge numbers throughout America.
The leader of the United States has made immigrants the new face of a threatening “Other,” a primitive savage who has many of the features of the "Indians" of the American frontier myth.
Trump supporter holds banner against Central American-based Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13).
How city and state governments identify and keep records of suspected gang members can be problematic. Good data are essential to addressing violent crime across the US.
Members of a caravan of migrants from Central America.
Some 200 Central Americans who fled violence at home want to apply for asylum in the US. Trump says they're 'not welcome.' Here, key info on the 'caravan' to the US-Mexico border.
The MS-13 gang operates in Central America, Mexico and the U.S. But so far its efforts to get into the drug business have failed.
Trump justice officials portray the Salvadoran gang MS-13 as a powerful drug cartel staffed with criminal undocumented immigrants. That's a dangerous mistake if you actually want to prevent violence.
President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress.
Trump touted his administration's economic successes and laid out his immigration plan in an 80-minute speech to Congress. Our experts weigh in.
Arrests aside, until the politicians who collude with gangs are stopped, crime in Central America will likely continue unchecked.
Corruption, not gang warfare, is the root cause of the record violence in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Until public officials stop shielding criminal groups like MS-13, lawlessness will reign.