In El Salvador a law to identify members of youth gangs is being processed

A group of members of El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly is analysing a law that could that could allow for the identification of people who belong to the youth gangs Mara Salvatrucha -MS13- Barrio 18.

This would involve a blueprint for a special law to record illegal groups and terrorist organisations, their members and collaborators. This blueprint is being studied by parliament members of the Commission of Public Security and to Combat Narco-Activities.

Moreover, Congress explained that this initiative aims to identify and classify the members of youth gangs with the help of information provided by the intelligence organism of the State and police force, which allow for the disassembling and dismantling of such criminal structures.

The law would provide the State with an administrative tool to combat the country’s main security problem in a comprehensive way.

This blueprint will be presented to the authorities of the Justice and Security Cabinet and the public prosecutor, Raúl Melara, so that the object and the scope of such legislation can be known and, once approval has been given, parliament members can issue a favourable opinion so that it can be voted on in a plenary session and, as the case may be, be passed.

Once the law is passed, the legislative organ, via the members of the Commission of Public Security, will request the derogation of the proscription law for maras, youth gangs, groups, associations and organisations of a criminal nature, passed in 2010, because it is considered to be inapplicable.

The El Salvador authorities blame groups MS13, Barrio 18 and other smaller ones for the high homicide rates. It is necessary to add that, over the last five years, the figure of 103 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants has been reached, data that means that the country is one of the most violent in the world.

These criminal groups, a phenomenon considered to be a legacy of the civil war (1980-1992) and that gained emphasis with the deportation of members from the United States, have resisted all the security plans implemented by the last four administrations.

In El Salvador, about 25% of the population acknowledges having been an extortion victim of members of youth gangs.

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