In the last six years of the FMLN governments, the average number of homicides in the month of January was 360; even in 2016, the number of murders reached more than 740 cases. However, those records are in the past, and January 2023 has become the safest month in the history of El Salvador.
According to data from the National Civil Police, in the 31 days of the month this year, there were only 11 homicides, a figure never recorded. Security Minister Gustavo Villatoro added that nine of these cases have already been resolved, meaning the culprits have already been captured.
With these unprecedented figures, the end of the month of January translates into “an annualized rate below 2 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants. The lowest homicide rate in the entire American continent”, as reported yesterday by the President of the Republic, Nayib Bukele.
January was always marked in previous years by homicidal violence, according to police statistics. For 2014, in that month, 234 homicides were registered, January 2015 closed with 336; and for the same period in 2016, there were 740 murders; in 2017, the official record indicates that there were 259 murders.
The numbers of deaths due to violence have begun to decrease since June 2019, when the Bukele government began its functions. For example, in January 2021 there were 115 homicides, and in 2022 there were 85.
Last year, at the gates of the emergency regime, homicidal violence in the country decreased even more, thanks to the dismantling of criminal structures. Only last year there were 162 days with zero crimes due to violence during this period, and this year there are 22 more days in which not a single Salvadoran has been murdered. All this has happened while more than 62,000 gang members are behind bars.