The monthly homicide toll

At the end of every month, the Salvadoran press reports the grim statistics of this year's wave of homicides. August continued the trend with 324 homicides in the country, the fourth month with more than 300 murders. The first eight months of the year have seen 32% more murders than the same period in 2004.

President Tony Saca called for all elements of society to close ranks against gang violence. His administration blames the wave of homicides on intra-gang rivalry. The Saca administration announced that it will send 1000 troops to work with police on anti-gang patrols. Teams of three soldiers carrying automatic weapons patrol dangerous neighborhoods along with two officers of the PNC. Saca also called on businesses to invest in their communities to create jobs.