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.


Anonymous said…
murder at its very essence is dark, sad and brutal. the criminals don't work for the common good, rather they terrorize it. It's about time someone, anyone, decided to take a stand and target those who make the common folk worry about his personal security. Paradoxically these death squads may bring some security to the country.
Basta de Casaca said…
Paradoxically these death squads may bring some security to the country?????????

How many people will they have to kill before we can say that we live in a safe country?

Pictures speak louder than words, and history speaks louder than pictures. Death squads are not the solution - regime change IS!

Based on facts and history, the death squads brought a civil war to El Salvador, and they are about to bring another one because our lack of analysis and lack of information, and because of our ignorance.

We"ll be celebrating the "disappearance" of mareros while we write another chapter in our history:

As a matter of fact, a lot of people don't know it, some others don't want to believe, but the truth is that we are already having the prologue in El Salvador Civil War - Part Two...

El Salvador- a country were life is worth shit.
Thank-you sports announcer of the republic, Mr. Saca.
Anonymous said…
WPost innuendo at its worst. Just because there is a bunch of dead thugs, it does not mean that someone is fly-swatting them.

In the U.S., black men are murdered disproportionately. Does the WP go around throwing unsubstantiated speculations as to WHO IS IT THAT IS KILLING BLACK MEN?
Tim said…
To inner self:

Vigilante justice can never be the answer. El Salvador needs the rule of law, not every person with arms being a law unto himself.

To anonymous:

The article was a Reuters story, picked up by the Washington Post. And if you read it, you would notice that this is a report of the lawyers employed by the Catholic archdiocese of San Salvador, who are reporting what the Beatrice Carillo, the PDDH, has also found.
Anonymous said…
Death squads kill gang members, gang members retaliate. Violence only spawns more violence. And the BIGGEST evidence of this, is the sole creation of the gangs in the first place... Specially the famed MS13. Gang origins=civil war refugees on a foreign country who united to protect themselves.

Though, I must question if said death squads do really exist. After all, long have there been gang murders related to rival gangs killing each other over territory. This is even more evident on places where many gangs exist. So is vigilante justice really taking shape, or are this gang murders just the casualties of the "gang wars"?
Anonymous said…
Samel: It looks like Saca is your worst nightmare. Have you forgotten those who planned killing salvadorean in the past? Can we said thank you to Leonel Gonzalez (Salvador Sanchez) y Medardo Gonzalez for the maras?
Anonymous said…
Currently, the so-called death squads in El Salvador appear to be private security units employed by the economic elite. Generally, they are former military officers and/or members of the various police agencies employed by the Duarte regime. Ironically, members of the Mara Salvatrucha who are currently being returned to their home country were originally trained by the same officers who are now being paid bounties to murder these so-called gang members. As you know, just wearing tatoos is probable cause for arrest and detention in today's El Salvador. Obviously CAFTA will result in many jobs going to the slave-labor camps in China and the seeds of revolution are being sown once again in the blood-soaked soil of El Salvador.
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