The marked increase in execution-style killings in El Salvador since the beginning of the year has been attributed to death squads being used as a political tool in statements made by President Mauricio Funes earlier this morning. January, 2014 has had an average of 9.4 homicides a day, a startling increase from months previous, many of them multiple homicides committed publicly to strike fear into the populace. Funes’ statements come after the sixth mass homicide committed this year was carried out yesterday in the city of Panchimalco, located less than an hour away from the capital city, San Salvador. Funes stated that he has no doubt that this violence is being orchestrated as a destabilizing tactic in the days before the elections.
Although this is not the first time the President has made similar remarks linking the recent increase in violence to a bid to scare voters into voting for the right-wing, his latest pronouncement comes as a response to recent allegations made by the ARENA party that the FMLN has brokered deals with the two main Salvadoran gangs, MS and 18, in relation to the gang truce signed in March 2012.