Viewing cable 05SANSALVADOR2978
Title: SALVADOR HOMICIDE RATE CONTINUES OUT OF CONTROL

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
05SANSALVADOR29782005-11-01 22:23:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy San Salvador
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SAN SALVADOR 002978 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10 YEARS 
TAGS: PGOV PREL KCRM SNAR ES
SUBJECT: SALVADOR HOMICIDE RATE CONTINUES OUT OF CONTROL 
 
REF: SAN SALVADOR 02811 
 
Classified By: DCM Michael A. Butler for reasons 1.4(b) & (d) 
 
¶1. (U) Local San Salvador press reported on November 1 that 
the National Police(PNC) recorded 335 homicides in the month 
of October 2005.  Thus far during the calendar year, 3,115 
individuals have been murdered in El Salvador, as violent 
deaths have increased by thirty-nine percent over 2004. 
Although two months remain in the calendar year, 2005 is 
already the most violent year on record since 1999. 
 
¶2. (C) According to PNC Director Ricardo Menesses, only 
fifty-five percent of murders recorded in October were 
attributable to gang activity.  This statistic debunks claims 
made by some GOES officials that up to ninety percent of 
murders result from criminal gang activity.  Other GOES 
officials have opined that a lack of cooperation between the 
Police and the Attorney General cripples the criminal justice 
system and permits criminals to go unpunished.  (See Reftel). 
 Even if all violent perpetrators were caught and 
successfully prosecuted, however, the Salvadoran penitentiary 
system is overwhelmed and cannot accommodate a significant 
rise in convicted criminals, which causes many judges to 
release violent criminals either on bond or on their own 
recognizance.  (See Post's 2005 Human Rights Report). 
 
¶3. (C) COMMENT:  As mentioned in Reftel, Plan Super Mano Dura 
("Heavy Hand") is widely seen as having had no impact in 
reducing violent crime, since it has led to numerous arrests 
of gang members, but few convictions.  The Plan also does not 
address the spiraling number of violent deaths (roughly half 
in October) resulting from non-gang related activity. Unless 
and until the police, Attorney General's office, judiciary, 
and the penal system begin to work more closely together in 
addressing the violent crime issue, El Salvador's violent 
crime situation will continue to spiral out of control. 
Barclay