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).
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).
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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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