Quan, Ana Danielle
El Salvador has been recently been named one of the most dangerous and violent countries in Central America, followed by Honduras. Having and crime rate 41.2, a large reason for the high violence in El Salvador is due to the armed groups known as “Las Maras” (gangs).
Studies say that there are several reasons for why El Salvador suffers from children involved in acts of violence. One of them is because socially the nation has been marked by a long history of violence within its borders. This reason is accompanied by the fact that the country’s government has not been able to equally allocate their resources such as education, health care, employment, security and justice. Additionally children are largely influenced in violent acts and situations because of the lack of social, political and more specifically community support to children and their families.
Socially children in the low socio- economic strata of El Salvador suffer from intra- familiar violence and parents abandoning their children, which leaves the innocent souls homeless and no where to go. What is the first thing they encounter in the streets? Violence and drugs.
Moreover the economic crisis El Salvador went through left a lot of economic pressure on its population, specially to the poorer population. Most of this people found refugee in the drug trafficking and specially in the involvement of gangs. One of the most “famous” gangs in El Salvador is “La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS13”. One of the reason children and young boys involved in the gangs, was because they felt this group, that forced them to comit attrocties such as daily homicides in return for cash, provided them with safety, food, shelter and even a sense of somewhere they belonged.