Between March 27 and December 5 of this year, the authorities have reported the capture of 59,307 gang members out of the more than 76,000 that were registered before the emergency regime. The figure represents 78% of the gang members for whom the police had a record prior to the security measure.
It should be noted that before the emergency regime, the number of gang members who remained in prison was 16,000, a figure well below the more than 59,300 detained during the security measure that had been endorsed since March by the deputies of the Legislative Assembly based on the Constitution.
The effectiveness of the regime was evident from the first 24 hours, during which the authorities reported the capture of more than 600 gang members. By March 30, the police and armed forces had apprehended 3,000 gang members in 96 hours.
That day, the President of the Republic, Nayib Bukele, assured that the 3,000 people captured during the regime plus the 16,000 who were already in prison were kept locked up in prisons, where food was being rationed.
“Since Sunday [March 27], food is rationed and the 16,000 imprisoned gang members have not left their cells, nor have they seen the sun. In these days, we have arrested 3,000 more (and we continue). So there will be less and less space, and we will have to ration even more,” the president posted on his Twitter account.
In the first five days of the regime, the authorities reported the capture of 3,873 criminals. After the arrests, President Bukele addressed the opposition that had generated rumors about the alleged release of gang members.
“By the way, no gang member has been released. A judge tried to free 42 people in a 2019 case, but all remain in prison and the case will go to a higher instance. I call on the Supreme Court of Justice to remove judges complicit in organized crime,” Bukele said.
By April 30, after a month of the security measure, the number of gang members behind bars amounted to 22,115.
«533 terrorists were captured on Saturday, April 30. Thanks to the joint work with the Armed Forces. Since the War Against Gangs began, we have taken 22,115 criminals off the streets,” the police reported.
In May, two months after the approval of the regime, the police registered a total of 35,009 captured gang members and collaborators.
On August 16, just the day that the Public Security authorities submitted to the Legislative Assembly the request for the fifth extension of the emergency regime, the number of detainees under this measure reached 50,000 gang members and collaborators.
The figure of 50,000 captured was shared by the Presidential House, “No one can deny the transformation that we are carrying out in El Salvador. The Exception Regime has made it possible to intensify the War Against Gangs and get thousands of terrorists off the streets who no longer frighten Salvadorans. Let’s continue,” published the Presidential House on his Twitter account.
By October 28, the number of imprisoned gang members had reached 56,190. “We are not going to back down in this War Against Gangs. We are doing justice on behalf of millions of Salvadorans,” said the Ministry of Security.
One month later, and after eight months of implementation of the regime, the authorities reported on November 28 the figure of 59,307 captured gang members.
«The terrorist structures came to an end. We continue to capture criminals who will have to pay with years in jail. The War Against Gangs continues,” the Ministry of Security said on its Twitter account.
On November 24, the Minister of Defense, René Francis Merino Monroy, participated in the program 8 En Punto, on channel 33, when asked by the interviewer how many gang members could still be free? The official replied: “I don’t have the exact data, but it could be more than 20,000 who are still out of prison; some have left the country, others are hiding in the fields or in the city, and we are going after them.”
Merino Monroy stated that they can count the remaining gang members to be captured every time they make new arrests and check the police data.
“There is support from the police because they have been recording criminals for all these years, and we are discounting those who are captured from this program, and we see that there are only so many of this clique left, that is how we calculate the numbers,” he explained. the minister.