Are death squads conducting "social cleansing"?
From Reuters as reported in the Washington Post:
A spike in the number of murders of gang members and criminals in El Salvador is raising concern that resurgent death squads are carrying out "social cleansing," the Catholic Church said on Thursday.
Last year, 3,812 people were murdered in the Central American nation where a civil war between Marxist guerrillas and the right-wing government raged from 1980 to 1992, up from 2,993 killed in 2004. Church lawyers said in a report that the killings "systematically" targeted criminals, and recalled the brutal murders of rebels and sympathizers carried out by right-wing death squads during the war.
"The systematic nature of the cases leads one to believe that they have been committed to sow terror and carry out social cleansing," the report said.
The Church did not say who might be responsible for the killings, but during the conflict it was mostly members of the security forces.