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In El Salvador, arrested gang members paraded for the cameras

© Reuters. Over 700 gang members in Central America arrested in U.S.-assisted actions


By Nelson Renteria

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) – A whole bunch of handcuffed Salvadoran gang members had been displayed earlier than assembled reporters on Saturday, a vivid present of President Nayib Bukele’s coverage of confronting them and the violent crime they’re accused of committing.

Some 600 members of El Salvador’s Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang and its rival Barrio 18 made up the majority of the detentions that had been introduced on Friday, following a one-week U.S.-backed round-up of Central American gangs that additionally netted arrests in neighboring Guatemala and Honduras.

The detainees paraded earlier than the press on Saturday, a standard tactic that predates Bukele, have been charged with homicide, kidnapping and human trafficking, amongst different crimes, based on officers.

In April, Bukele provoked the ire of rights teams when he printed on social media jarring footage of a whole bunch of semi-naked jailed gang members, pressed tightly collectively in rows, regardless of the raging pandemic.

On the time, the inmates had been being punished for an outbreak of violence.

Safety Minister Rogelio Rivas referred to as the vast majority of the newly-detained “terrorists” in remarks after they had been assembled in an open-air plaza by heavily-armed troopers, almost all of the detainees carrying masks and with their faces, many tattooed, trying down.

Authorities figures present that the homicide price has fallen by almost half thus far this yr in comparison with the identical interval final yr, which Bukele argues is because of a bigger army and police presence on streets in addition to in jails believed to be managed by the gangs.

In September, on-line information website El Faro printed an investigation revealing an alleged negotiation between the federal government and MS-13 over decreasing homicides in alternate for different advantages, together with electoral help for Bukele, an accusation the president has denied.

The most recent round-up may very well be meant to refute the concept the federal government is negotiating with the gangs, safety analyst Jeanette Aguilar mentioned in an interview.

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