Did US Influence Stoke San Salvador’s Murders?
When former Salvadoran rebel Raúl Mijango negotiated a 2012 truce between MS-13 and Barrio 18, two powerful gangs with U.S. connections synonymous with anti-migrant fervor, he had noble intentions. The truce reduced murders 41 percent, but neither Washington nor the public approved — and by 2015, it was scrapped. As a result, murders jumped 70 percent to the world’s worst rate and boosted northward migration.
Has anything improved since? A brutal police crackdown followed, signaling what some call a drift toward the oppressive enforcement tactics that spawned the country’s 1980s civil war — driving more migrants out.