Tuesday 20 August 2019

El Salvador president says gangs are trying to force his successor to negotiate

Street gangs, including the MS-13 group, are active ahead of the inauguration of a new president in June.

A masked police investigator walks at a crime scene (Salvador Melendez/AP)
A masked police investigator walks at a crime scene (Salvador Melendez/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

El Salvador’s President Salvador Sanchez Ceren has said street gangs are attacking police to try to force his successor to negotiate with them.

President-elect Nayib Bukele is scheduled to take office on June 1, and Mr Sanchez Ceren said the gangs “are using threat to blackmail the incoming government to negotiate with them”.

On Monday, a street gang put a fake body in an abandoned car to lure police officers into a car-bomb attack that wounded two policemen.

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Police review the charred remains of a car (Salvador Melendez/AP)

Over the weekend, suspected gang members killed two off-duty police and three soldiers.

National police director Howard Cotto said the attacks were the work of the Mara Salvatrucha gang, known as MS-13.

In 2012, the government of a previous president negotiated a truce with gangs that included giving gang leaders greater liberty in prison.

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