El Salvador Declares State of Emergency Amid 62 Gang Murders in a Single Day

In wake of 14 murders on Friday and 62 more gang killings the following day, the entire country of El Salvador has been placed under a state of emergency. The legal declaration was put into action at the request of President Nayib Bukele upon approval from the country’s congress. The strict mandate will increase military presence all throughout the country and it will remove constitutional rights for citizens, such as freedom of assembly.

It is being reported that a vast majority of the homicides are linked to the infamous street gang known as M-13 (aka Mara Salvatrucha). Although the organized group of criminals has a stronghold on many of the neighborhoods in the capital of El Salvador, the national police managed to capture five of their leaders. The captives are being accused of ordering the mass killings that took place over the weekend.

In order to remain steadfast in his effort to clamp down on gang activity, President Burkle aimed at the heart of M-13 by extending his extreme measures to their brethren within the country’s prison system. The 43rd President of El Salvador took to Twitter to outline a few details about what he had in store for those who were already behind prison walls, including a 24/7 lockdown.

“[Prisoners of El Salvador] are not to go out even to the patio [of prisons],” Bukele wrote. “A message to the gangs: because of your actions, now your homeboys will not see even one ray of sunlight.”

As of now, there is no word on how long the state of emergency will last, but it could be extended if the government determines a need to increase the mandate.

Source: NBC News

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