Disappeared persons and homicide in El SalvadorReport as inadecuate

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Crime Science

, 5:13

Crime in Developing Countries


During 2012–2013, the homicide rate in El Salvador came down from 69.9 to 42.2 per 100,000 population following a government brokered truce between the leaders of the two major gangs, Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18. But despite the apparent successes of the truce, it was speculated that the drop in murders could have been due to the killers simply hid the bodies of their victims. This paper aims at determining whether gangs effectively disappeared their victims to cut down the official counts of murders, or they committed these crimes for other reasons. The results from this study suggest that Salvadoran gangs had been using disappearance as a method to gain sustained social control among residents of already gang-dominated areas, that together with homicide, disappearance is part of a process of territorial spread and strategic strengthening by which these groups are enhancing their capabilities to interfere in the alliances of Mexican drug trafficking organizations with Central American criminal organizations specializing in the trans-shipment of drugs and in providing access to local markets to distribute and sell drugs. Our findings show that the risk for disappearance has been large even before the truce was in place and that actually, it continues as such and going through a process of geographic expansion.

KeywordsEl Salvador Maras Bayesian mapping Trends in disappearance Homicide trends Bayesian shared component model  Download fulltext PDF

Author: Carlos Carcach - Evelyn Artola

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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