Gang violence, El Salvador

This item appears on page 16 of the September 2015 issue.

In El Salvador, members of the Barrio 18 gang killed at least seven public bus drivers on July 28 and 29 in an attempt to pressure the government to, among other demands, release jailed gang leaders.

The gangs asked bus drivers to stage a 3-day strike in order to convince the government to negotiate with the gangs. The drivers were targeted when they refused. As of press time, nationwide, more than 100 out of 1,000 bus lines had stopped service. Government vehicles had taken over transportation services along stopped routes.

More than 2,000 people have died in El Salvador in 2015, many due to an ongoing war between the Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha gangs.