El Salvador will present reforms to prosecute gangs as terrorist organizations

The president of the republic, Nayib Bukele, announced that a new package of reforms is being prepared to prosecute gangs as terrorist organizations in court. The announcement was made last Saturday night in a meeting he held with officials from the Security Cabinet and the attorney general, Rodolfo Delgado.

The president believes that in the war against the gangs, which is being won and is certified with the tranquility returned to the communities, it is important to reaffirm and intensify the implemented security strategies.

«This package of new reforms is important. There have already been two, [there are] three packages of reforms, but this new one is to prosecute them as an organization and not individually, although they also have their individual crimes, but to prosecute them as an organization so that this does not happen again and that we are not going to sow the seeds of future crime,» he added.

The new reforms will be presented in the Legislative Assembly, which is accompanying the government in its security strategy, contrary to what happened when he began his administration, when ARENA and the FMLN were sponsors of the gang members, Bukele said.

«Now we have deputies who are committed to approving these reforms to guarantee that we not only resolve the issue of crime, which thank God we are doing, but that we do not sow crops in 20 years and that our children blame us for leaving them a problem. A ticking time bomb,» he explained.

According to the president, the new package includes prison reforms and reintegration of gang collaborators so that serving their minimum sentence of 20 years allows them to rejoin society as common criminals do.

To extinguish the gangs, one of the actions that the police and the prosecutor’s office have focused on is to hit their finances, take away all the criminal tools, and close down the businesses they still have.

According to President Bukele, the gangs at this time are drowning and have problems continuing to operate since their structures are disarmed and moving illicit drugs and weapons from one place to another is difficult for them.

«It is important to emphasize: we are not fighting common crime. That is, we are fighting common crime, but in the war against gangs, it is not common crime, it is an international terrorist structure,» the president said.

OTHER RESULTS WITH SECURITY STRATEGIES

Gangs without members

As a result of the military siege in Comasagua and the intervention of the police investigating the gangs, many structures of these terrorist groups have been left without members, only with one criminal, and their criminal actions have been annulled.

Zero riots in penal centers

Since June 2019, when the president of the republic, Nayib Bukele, began his administration, there have been no riots or fights between gang members in any of the country’s prisons. This is a product of the order and the strict measures that have been implemented, said the director of Penal Centers, Osiris Luna.

Hit to gang finances

During the emergency regime, the police, in coordination with the Prosecutor’s Office, have hit the gangs’ finances considerably, capturing their figureheads and confiscating all their assets obtained from extortion and drug sales.

The exception regime is not killing anyone

President Nayib Bukele affirmed that the emergency regime «is not killing anyone,» as the opposition has been saying since it was implemented on March 27, 2022. The president said that the average per capita death rate in prisons in the last 10 years on a national scale was higher than that registered with the exception regime.