El Salvador Reports its First Full Day Without Homicides In Two Years

Police in El Salvador say the country has gone 24 hours without any murders, a rare occurrence in a nation plagued by gang warfare.El Salvador’s rate of 81 murders per 100,000 residents, on average, is more than 10 times worse than that of St. Louis, the USA’s deadliest city, which in 2014 recorded 8.8 murders per 100,000 residents, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.Howard Cotto, the director of the National Civil Police, told reporters on Thursday that violence had begun to decline previous year: 2016 ended with 5,278 murders, 20% fewer than in 2015.The last time the country went a full day without any killings was January 22, 2015, according to the Associated Press.Killings peaked at 104 per 100,000 residents in 2015, the highest rate for any nation not in open war that year. As for why there was a lack of violence on Wednesday, the police didn’t have an explanation. Between January and May past year, the El Salvador government recorded 2,555 violent deaths, of which a handful were suicides and road traffic deaths.The country has been battling its gang problem for several years. The maras gang members are involved in armed robbery, drug trafficking and extortion. The majority of the violence is perpetrated by criminal gangs, or “maras”, which have an estimated 70,000 active members across El Salvador.