Two main rival gangs operate in El Salvador.

The Mara Salva-trucha is more commonly known as the MS 13. It originated in the 1970s in Los Angeles

Their enemy is the Barrio 18 or 18th street gang. It also has its roots in Los Angeles

A state of emergency was declared in March. And thousands of arrests have been made.

What’s the reason for the increase in gang crime?

And can the streets be made safe?

Presenter: Hashem Ahelbarra


Carolina Jimenez, President of Washington office on Latin America

Colin Harding, Latin America Analyst and Director of Latinform

Hector Silva Avalos, a Salvadorian journalist and Senior Research Fellow at American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies