El Salvador’s ‘Iron Fist’: Inside Its Unending War on Gangs

El Salvador’s ‘Iron Fist’: Inside Its Unending War on Gangs
El Salvador army special forces and police officers, part of a new stepped-up phase in the government's fight against gangs, San Salvador, April, 20, 2016 (AP photo by Salvador Melendez).

Last week, El Salvador’s president, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, celebrated two years in office. El Faro, the country’s premier online investigative news source, acknowledged the milestone with a feature titled, “Seven Years of Governing Like ARENA.” It was a pointed commentary on the policy similarities between Sanchez Ceren’s left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) and its rival party, the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), which were also foes on the battlefield during El Salvador’s 12-year civil war. Since assuming office, Sanchez Ceren, a former leftist guerrilla commander, has continued the hard-line policies on gangs that go back to ARENA-led governments […]

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