International Security

Did the US Start a Gang War in El Salvador?

El Salvador

© Shutterstock

January 08, 2016 19:56 EDT

Photojournalist Patrick Tombola documents one the most violent current conflicts.

With an average of 30 murders every day for a population of 6 million, El Salvador is one of the most violent nations on Earth. Police attribute as much as 80% of these to gang crime.

The roots of the problem can be traced back to the brutal civil war, which saw a flood of immigration to the United States. El Salvador’s two main gangs, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18, both have roots in Los Angeles, with gang members deported back to their home country by the US.

The situation has deteriorated to such an extent that some claim it was easier during the war, when you knew who your real enemies were.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Fair Observer’s editorial policy. 

Photo Credit: ES James /

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