SAN SALVADOR — Crime-ridden El Salvador is having a particularly bloody year. Facing the power of the "Mara" street gangs, the Central American country has already counted a "record" 4,427 homicides from January to Sept. 8, the country's Institute of Legal Medicine, or state coroners, has reported.
The figure was expected to top 5,000 by the end of 2015, though it already exceeded the total murders of each of the past six years, leading online newspaper elsalvador.com reports. Before 2015, the recent years with most murders were 2009, with a total of 4,382 criminal killings, and 2011, with 4,371.
The country saw its daily murder rate fall from double digits to below 10 a day for most of 2012-13, after public personalities helped negotiate a precarious truce between the two main gangs, Mara Salvatrucha and M-18.
Killings, whose victims are presumed to be mostly gang members, shot back up as the truce gradually broke down in 2013. In August, the average number of people killed every day nationwide was about 29, another local daily El Mundo reported, citing the Institute of Legal Medicine.