Effectiveness of security plans: In 184 Salvadoran municipalities, there were no homicides in 2022.

The citizen security plans implemented by the government of President Nayib Bukele, as well as the war against gangs that gave way to the emergency regime, allowed that during 2022 there have been no homicides in 184 municipalities of the country, this is equivalent to 70% of the Salvadoran territory.

These data were provided on Wednesday night by officials that make up the Expanded Security Cabinet during the presentation of the results of the year that just ended. Strategies such as the implementation of the emergency regime and Phase 5 of the Territorial Control Plan made it easier for law enforcement to go after gang members and their main leaders, as well as collaborators.

Police records detail that, as of the implementation of the emergency regime on March 27, 2022, police and military operations to arrest criminals led to 70 more municipalities joining the existing ones, which, until the regime, had records of zero murders.

Before implementing this measure, the total number of municipalities in which no violent deaths had occurred was 114, which represented 44% of the territory. After March, 70 more were added, bringing the total to 184 at the end of last year, with the majority of the municipalities being in the north, in Chalatenango, Cabañas, San Miguel, and Morazán.

Official figures also indicate that during 2022 there were 495 homicides, of which 323 were reported before the regime, this is equivalent to 65% of the total. The remaining 35%, that is, 172 murders, occurred when the emergency regime was already underway.

Gustavo Villatoro, Minister of Justice and Security, expressed his opinions on the behavior that has contributed to the reduction of homicidal violence as a result of President Nayib Bukele’s work vision and previous rulers’ refusal to confront gangs and allow them to arm themselves.

“With these figures, the president [Bukele] proclaimed that we had recovered control over the Salvadoran territory that previous governments handed over to these terrorist groups,” Villatoro said.

The official explained that “our analyses of this phenomenon after more than 20 years confirm how the trigger for the truce of former President Mauricio Funes [first FMLN government] in 2013 was the support of those international organizations that today are watching over the human rights of criminals.”