SAN SALVADOR – El Salvador ended November with 333 murders, or an average of 11.1 per day, a decline with respect to October, when on average 14 homicides were registered per day, the National Civilian Police, or PNC, said Wednesday.
Between January and Nov. 30, 3,988 murders were reported, a figure that exceeds the 3,179 registered killings during 2008, a PNC spokesman told Efe.
The figures show that in October, which is considered by the press to be one of the most violent months in recent years, there were 431 murders.
Since Nov. 6, about 4,000 soldiers have been monitoring “high crime areas” to combat violence and reduce the murder rate, after President Mauricio Funes authorized them to work in coordination with the PNC.
The soldiers will remain in place for 180 days in the most violent municipalities of La Libertad, Santa Ana, San Miguel, San Salvador and Sonsonate provinces, according to the president’s order.
“The crime indexes have fallen slightly. I can’t ensure that this is going to continue, but we’re making the effort so that it may,” Defense Minister David Munguia Payes told the Prensa Grafica newspaper.
The troops are stationed in 12 municipalities in five of the country’s 14 provinces, and Munguia Payes did not rule out extending their activities to 29 municipalities. EFE