January murders continue 2015 trend

The beginning of the new year in El Salvador has seen a continuation of the very high levels of killings seen in the second half of 2015.  According to government statistics, 738 homicides were committed in El Salvador during January 2016.   This compares to 336 in the same month in 2015.   Put another way, in 2015 the country averaged a horrific 19 homicides per day.   In January 2016, the average was 24.

This tragedy in El Salvador has produced many articles in the English language press in the past month trying to understand this unprecedented level of violence.   Here are some:

The Washington Post tried to explain Why El Salvador became the hemisphere’s murder capital.

Forbes had an interview with Adriana Beltran of the Washington Office on Latin America regarding El Salvador's public security crisis.

At OpenDemocracy, Carlos Rosales and Ana Leonor Morales have an article on the growing prevalence of "social cleansing" reflected in the murder rate.

photo gallery at Al Jazeera documents the human cost of the wave of violence.

As a result of the violence, Salvadorans continue to flee, seeking refuge outside of the country, reports the UNHCR today.