One of the fruits that has been obtained in El Salvador thanks to the effective security policies implemented by the current government is that extortion has been reduced by more than 90%, as detailed by the President of the Republic, Nayib Bukele; this decrease in crime has also been confirmed by the Minister of Security, Gustavo Villatoro.
“There are still thousands of gang members to capture; we cannot transform something that has been around for 30 years in 8 months. The extortion business that the gangs had is something that has been reduced at the national level,” said the Minister of Security.
The official reiterated that the current Cabinet led by the president, Nayib Bukele, is not only capturing gang members; “we are also reaching businesses that were the result of extortion and where the money they demanded was received,” he said.
Gangs in El Salvador had been involved for years in various sectors of the economy, “they became entrenched in that segment of the population, in informal businesses, in transportation, in bakeries, in car washes, in Ubers, etc.,” Villatoro mentioned.
The official explained that through the study they have carried out on the operation of these structures in the country, they have determined that these businesses were private to “some leaders of some cliques not reported to the structure in general.”
“We have come as a Security Cabinet together with the Prosecutor’s Office to solve and reveal many of these businesses contaminated with money from extortion, rent and drug sales. It is part of this phenomenon that we are solving,” added the official.
The number of gang members arrested so far amounts to more than 57,400. “This figure is missing 20,000 gang members to arrest, it is something that we continue to do and monitor,” said the Minister of Security.
“With the exception regime, we seek respect for the law and to be able to apply it to those who violate it,” he added.
Villatoro assured that “previous governments were not interested in solving the problem [of the gangs]. It is impossible to establish that there was any will.
The current government has achieved historical figures in terms of security; the Territorial Control Plan and the emergency regime have also allowed for the reduction of homicidal violence in the country.