US security aid to El Salvador shows few results
The New York Times has an extensive article today on US involvement in the battle against gangs in El Salvador titled A Conflicted War: MS-13, Trump and America’s Stake in El Salvador’s Security. The article describes recent US security aid:
The United States has stepped up its engagement in the country over the last two years, dedicating hundreds of millions of dollars and dozens of law enforcement and military personnel to fighting the violent gangs that send so many Salvadorans fleeing to the American border. The goal is to create a self-sufficient Salvadoran justice system. But the consequences of the effort are difficult to assess.
American advisers are training the police officers who arrest gang members. American dollars are building the prisons that hold them. At an American facility in San Salvador, detectives are learning how to investigate crimes. It is part of a plan to send $750 million into Central America’s violent Northern Triangle — El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras — and one that, American and Salvadoran officials say privately, would be disastrous to end.
President Trump, though, has periodically threatened to walk away. He views MS-13 as a dangerous force in the United States, but has expressed skepticism about the efforts to help root it out in El Salvador.It is a story of a security and justice system in El Salvador which is under-resourced and prone to human rights abuses, US aid and advisors who are trying to improve the situation, and the inability to measure real progress from any of that assistance. Meanwhile the suffering of Salvadoran families in zones controlled by the gangs continues. Make sure and read the whole article here.