Inside El Salvador’s Jails (Excerpt from ‘Gangs of El Salvador’)

El Salvador is set to eclipse Honduras as the country with the highest homicide rate in the world. By the end of September 2015, there had been around 5,000 murders this year, in a country with a population of just over six million. El Salvador’s murder rate is now the highest it’s been since the end of the country’s brutal civil war — there is on average one murder an hour.

The staggering death toll follows the breakdown of a truce between powerful, rival gangs and the government. Police and military are now combatting the gangs head-on and gang members are being charged with a new crime — membership of a terrorist organization.

In this excerpt, VICE News reporter Danny Gold gains access inside the jail of Usulután, a small but violent, gang-plagued city two hours outside El Salvador’s capital. Inside the jail, members from opposing gangs — MS-13 and 18th Street Gang — are held in separate wings, while a different cell houses “reformed” gang members. Here, Gold interviews members of MS-13, as well as a member who has found religion and left the gang.

Watch “Gangs of El Salvador (Full Length)” – http://bit.ly/1lPmpyX

Read “Are El Salvador’s Murderous Gangs the Voice of the Oppressed? They Think So” – http://bit.ly/1NMvaQW

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One Day in Usulután: Gangs of El Salvador (Part 3)

El Salvador is set to eclipse Honduras as the country with the highest homicide rate in the world. ​There have already been over 5,700 murders this year in a country with a population of just over six million. El Salvador’s murder rate is now the highest it’s been since the end of the country’s brutal civil war — there is on average ​around ​one murder an hour.

The staggering death toll follows the breakdown of a truce between powerful​,​ rival gangs and the government. The government’s crackdown on the gangs in the capital has ​forced gang members ​to spread out all over the country and ​with them they have taken high levels of violence. ​

In part three of our five-part series, VICE News correspondent Danny Gold spends a day in Usulután, a small rural region of 300,000, now in the grip of ​a new wave of ​murder​s​ and disappearances.

Watch “Gangs of El Salvador (Part 1)” – http://bit.ly/1MNSHkQ

Watch “Gangs of El Salvador (Part 2)” – http://bit.ly/1Ly8ouy

Read “El Salvador’s Gang Truce Is Getting Fragile” – http://bit.ly/1lo05fR

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