El Salvador gang violence making Latin America murder Capital.

Gang violence is soaring in El Salvador. The country’s murder rate is one of the highest in the world. Now, amid criticism, the government is debating whether it should deploy the military.

El Salvador, one of the poorest and most violent countries in Latin America, saw well over 150 gang-related homicides within the last month alone. Now its constitutional court has classified the gangs as terrorist organizations.

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR, 2015.05.21: Two policemen study the body of a man murdered at a busy intersection in downtown San Salvador during rush hour. They are part of the 911 response team patrols the streets of the capital. The 'halcones' respond first to crimes involving armed people, homicides and other serious crimes. The first 5 months of 2015 has witnessed a rapid increased in the number of police deaths at the hands of pandillas or gangs.

SAN SALVADOR, EL SALVADOR: Two policemen study the body of a man murdered at a busy intersection in downtown San Salvador during rush hour. They are part of the 911 response team patrols the streets of the capital. The ‘halcones’ respond first to crimes involving armed people, homicides and other serious crimes. The first 5 months of 2015 has witnessed a rapid increased in the number of police deaths at the hands of pandillas or gangs.

Authorities in El Salvador have registered closer to 4,000 homicides in the past year. If the death toll continues to rise at the same pace, one in every thousand of its 6.3 million Salvadorans will have been murdered by the end of the year. Outside war zones, only Honduras has a comparable homicide rate.

In both countries, the murders can mostly be traced back to “Maras”, one of the gangs whose income is derived from hold-ups, extortion, arms trafficking and the illegal drug trade. Their roots go back to gangs in the Latin districts of Los Angeles in the 1980s, when many Salvadorans fled their country during the civil war.

When the conflict was over, the gangs formed criminal organizations in El Salvador. “This process was accelerated after the USA began deporting illegal immigrants to their home countries,” states a study conducted by the research department of the US Congress.

Today, UN drug authorities estimate a total of 54,000 members in “Mara Salvatrucha” (known as MS-13) and the 18th Street gang (also known as Barrio 18) in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. El Salvador, the smallest of the three countries, is home to 22,000 of them. In neighboring Nicaragua, many smaller gangs are active.

barrio18.1

Gang recruiters target students

Maras’ recruiters often target high school students. The organization offers youngsters what their parents often lack: the prospect of a livelihood and the feeling of being respected. Gang members often cover themselves in tattoos, which are earned through respect and brutality.

As many adolescents are recruited, Maras groups are often referred to as “youth gangs.” Anyone who thinks they are less harmful because of their age has another thing coming. The average age of the gang members is low because their life expectancy is proportionately lower.

Lucrative truce

For years, the gangs fought bloody turf wars. In 2012, Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 agreed to a truce. Homicide figures dropped from over 4,000 in the previous two years to 2,500 in 2012 and 2013. The ceasefire has been maintained because it is more profitable when each Mara can call the shots on its own turf in apparent peace.

 

 

But now, the killing is on the rise again: the death toll reached over 3,900 in 2014. If the current daily murder rate stays at 16 homicides per day, then last year’s total will be surpassed by the end of August 2015.

The spiral of violence

Ever since the gang truce was established, the victims of gang activities have been mainly civilians. But the gangs are now fighting each other again. According to El Salvador’s defense minister, David Munguia Payes, 85 percent of last weeks’ victims belonged to gangs.

Furthermore, the feud between the police and gangs has exacerbated: in January 2015, seven officers were killed in two weeks. According to sources in MS-13 circles, these were apparently acts of revenge for police tyranny. The police, for their part, swiftly announced that it would crack down on gang activities.

Organized crime in North and South America is continuing to spiral out of control and resulting in more violence and more deaths. They say, “The retaliatory nature together with the rhetoric is telling.” But this is nothing new, either is the escalation of government corruption.

This evokes reminders of the past: Salvadoran presidents have often stated that they would strike back hard. The gangs have always responded brutally to such declarations: in 2009, for instance, during the rule of former president Antonia Saca, known as “Super Mano Dura” (Super Hard Hand) the homicide rate rose to a historic high of 4,367 killings. This record may just well be broken this year.

Government making efforts

It is obvious that the government is taking the route of confrontation. Several months ago, a business association invited former New York City mayor Rudolph Giuliani to El Salvador to advise the country on security issues. During the Giuliani administration, the crime rate in New York went down drastically. Giuliani practiced a no-tolerance policy against offenders and he has recommended the Salvadoran government do the same.

barriomilitary

Classifying Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 as terrorist organizations might demonstrate that the government is probably following the former New York City mayor’s advice and considering deploying the military, although there is little evidence to prove that military measures will reduce the violence. It might mirror what the results we’ve seen with the Cartels in Mexico. Doubts have arisen about the feasibility of Giuliani’s tactics in Central America, where officers are paid much less than in the US and, accordingly, tend to give in to corruption.

It is most likely that the first rehabilitation program for gang members in the history of the country may be established by the government as part of its anti-gang measures. The costs, however, could exceed the governments’ financial means. Approximately 700 police officers have been temporarily suspended for disobeying regulations. Another 200 were expelled from the force. A functioning police force would be the first step towards greater security. Positive changes could attract investors who can offer young people a better perspective than organized crime. Private sector certainly can be a solution.

Mexico police on payroll with the Drug Cartels

A couple of months ago, 43 students embarked on a journey that ended in horrific deaths. The bus that they were journeying on was stopped by the police and was fired upon according to a survivor.

Later, the bodies were removed, placed in an isolated garbage dump by drug gang members ordered by the drug cartels and were covered by rocks and tires. They then poured diesel and gasoline all over the bodies with some of the students still alive. The gang members then incinerated the pile. The bodies burned for over 24 hours. When they returned and the fire was out and cooled, they were ordered to remove the ashes and placed them with the students bones fragments into trash bags and thrown into a river bank.

VIGILANTE

This is just an example of how Mexican law enforcement works with the Mexican drug Cartels and how the cartels with law enforcement authorities are more dangerous now than ISIS.

The only prevalent force fighting the war against trafficking and corruption is armed civilians as a militia who creates a curfew and road blocks.

Mexican authorities admit that drug-trafficking gangs pay around 1.27 billion pesos (some $100 million) a month in bribes to municipal police officers nationwide.

Public Safety Secretary Genaro Garcia Luna said that figure was calculated based on perceptions of municipal officers themselves and an analysis of a list of cops recruited by the cartels that was found during a police operation. High ranking officials defend this because it makes up for what the government does not pay and allows them to live their lives with “dignity.”

mexico_protests_pena_neito_ap_img_0

Authorities assert that of the country’s 165,510 municipal officers nationwide, just over 20% earns less than 1,000 pesos ($79) a month, while 60.9% earn no more than 4,000 pesos ($317) monthly.

The secretary, who backs President Felipe Calderon’s proposal for a single police force per state, said municipal officers currently account for 38.73% of all police in the country, adding that rather than combat crime they merely comply with the guidelines of their jurisdictions. Their training is lacking and they require stricter oversight however, that does not excuse the mass corruption of the alliance with the cartels and their reign of terror.

I believe that a leader with strong disciplines and leadership bringing a single federal authority will be a start to end the corruption. The military might of Mexico needs to combat the terrorism of the Cartels.

Nearly 30,000 people have died in incidents blamed on organized-crime groups, mainly drug traffickers. In Mexico since late 2006, newly inaugurated President Felipe Calderon deployed tens of thousands of soldiers and federal police to nearly a dozen states in a bid to stem the violence and root-out corruption in local law-enforcement agencies.

hangingbodiesState and local police in Mexico are poorly paid and are often confronted with the choice known here as “plomo o plata” (lead or silver): accept a bribe for looking the other way or get killed for refusing.

During Calderon’s tenure, a total of 915 municipal police, 698 state police and 463 federal agents have been killed at the hands of criminal gangs, according to Public Safety Secretariat figures. These figures are grossly inaccurate – as are Caledron’s accomplishments!

What is the Psychology behind ISIS? Can we Infiltrate and Defeat them?

Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria butcher thousands of “infidels” and carry off their women and children into slavery. This type of savagery can also be seen in other countries in history and currently in Africa with such faces like Boko Haram, other fascist groups and similar ISIS groups like Al-Qaeda but who even denounces the savagery of ISIS. The most notorious was Hitler who exterminated 6,000,000 Jews.

Savagery Begets Savagery

What, then are the origins of savagery, if they cannot be ascribed to a single religion or ideology? The first part of an answer may be horribly simple: savagery begets savagery. Callousness, aggression, and lack of empathy are common responses by people who have been harshly treated themselves. In the Nazi concentration camps, for instance, many of the cruelest guards were themselves prisoners—the notorious “kapos”.

Sexually abused children—particularly males—are more likely to go on to become sexual abusers themselves as adults, although the majority do not. Victims, in other words, often respond to trauma by themselves becoming victimizers.

The “shock and awe” bombing of Baghdad and subsequent invasion in 2003 triggered an explosion of violence and a total break down of law and order in the country. Few Iraqis escaped the effects of savagery. Marketplace car bombs and sectarian assassination squads were prevalent.. Between 2003 and 2011, over 114,000 of them were killed and many hundreds of thousands more maimed. So a minority of these, overwhelmingly male, victims of violence are now themselves propagating savagery through Mosul and its environs.

But victim becoming victimizer is not the only explanation for savagery. When the State breaks down, and with it law and order and civic society, there is only one recourse for survival—the group. Whether defined by religion, racial, political, tribal or clan—or for that matter by the brute dominance of a gang-leader—survival depends on the mutual security offered by the group. This no different than here in the United States when one becomes a gang banger searching for solace when they themselves are victims of society and then become the victimizer. I have been dealing with them for 25 years.

War bonds people together in their groups and this bonding assuages some of the terrific fear and distress the individual feels when the state breaks down. It also offers self-esteem to people who feel humiliated by their loss of place and status in a relatively ordered society. To the extent that this happens, then individual and group identities partially merge and the person’s actions become as much a manifestation of the group as of the individual will. When this happens, people can do terrible things they would never have imagined doing otherwise: individual conscience has little place in an embattled, warring group, because the individual and group selves are one so long as the external threat continues. It is groups which are capable of savagery, much more than any individual alone.

You can see it in the faces of the young male Islamic State militants as they race by on their trucks, black flags waving, evil smiles on their faces, clenched fists aloft, fresh from the slaughter of infidels who would not convert to Islam. What you can see is a biochemical high from a combination of the oxytocin and testosterone. Much more than cocaine or alcohol, these natural drugs lift mood, induce optimism and energize aggressive action on the part of the group. And because the individual identity has been submerged largely into the group identity, the individual will be much more willing to sacrifice himself in battle—or suicide bombing, for that matter. Why? Because if I am submerged in the group, I live on in the group even if the individual “me” dies.

This psychology I beleive and always has relates to all subject matter to drug cartels, mafia and all crime mobs, terrorist groups, religious fanatics and such.