Threats against journalists; tolerance for executioners

At the end of August, investigative journalists at Revista Factum published a detailed account of the operations of an organized group within El Salvador's security forces which had carried out multiple extra-judicial killings of alleged gang members, as well as sexual assaults and extortion.   The squad within El Salvador's elite anti-gang forces would execute young men and then arrange the scene to look as if there had been an armed confrontation between gang members and the police. The very detailed reporting created an initial stir in El Salvador, yet it appears that little change should be expected from the police or armed forces.

Particularly concerning are the threats and intimidation directed at the journalists of Revista Factum and El Faro who have been exposing these cases.   The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas described the situation:
However, Factum reported that the specialized unit of the Prosecutor’s Office against organized crime had not advanced the case. Even the assigned prosecutor orally reprimanded the employee who reported the crimes of his ex-companions for talking about it with the journalists, according to Factum. 
Silva said that on Aug. 28, the Attorney General said that they "are investigating the case; but they have the same testimonies that we (Factum) had for three months, and have done nothing. There is no decision to investigate them." He added, "If you add that many of the threats received by journalists who investigate these issues come from social network accounts that are handled by the police, then you start to understand that there is a systemic problem of tolerance here.” 
El Faro reported that the Office of the Attorney for the Defense of Human Rights has ordered precautionary measures to protect journalists from Factum. El Faro also denounced that neither the Executive nor any Public Security authority has taken an official position or communicated with the journalists in this regard. Óscar Ortiz, vice president of the republic, said publicly on Aug. 28, as the only mention of the subject, “knock on wood to make sure nothing happens to a journalist,” La Prensa Gráfica reported...... 
Following the recent report on the alleged police death squad published by Factum, four people without visible official identification arrived in a blue microbus to the door of the offices of Factum, and claimed to be with the Office of the Attorney for the Defense of Human Rights, El Faro reported. These asked about the entry and exit times of journalists. Consulted by Factum, the attorney’s office denied having sent any of its delegates. 
Two days later, El Faro also reported that several men inside a green sedan showed up at their offices identifying themselves as journalistic sources of the Police. Shortly after, another person introduced himself and tried to enter.
Meanwhile, the officers accused in the Revista Factum article have been released and put on "desk duty." There is no indication that the attorney general has any intention of charging them with crimes. Social media has been filled with implicit and explicit threats against the journalists.

Like vice president Oscar Ortiz's flippant statement that "knock on wood, nothing will happen to a journalist,"   the government has generally paid little attention to the allegations or has been dismissive of them.    One example is the President of the National Assembly, Guillermo Gallegos, who has been mocking persons who might advocate that even gang members have human rights:

Although the country's human rights ombudsman, Raquel Caballero, has stated that her office is investigating reports of 40 extra-judicial killings in 2017, most of her public pronouncements since the Revista Factum article have been focused instead  on the need to protect police and their families from attacks by the gangs.

Just to be clear.   The assassinations of police officers and their family members by the gangs, which have continued at high levels, do need to be forcefully dealt with.   What the journalists at Revista Factum, El Faro and La Prensa have exposed, however, are corrupt units who "deal with" the situation outside of the law, acting as judge and executioner, and covering up the deeds.  So far, outside of the human rights community, no one in El Salvador seems to care.