El Salvador president rules out talks with criminal gangs

el salvador

SAN SALVADOR– El Salvador President Nayib Bukele ruled out negotiations with criminal gangs yesterday and vowed to go after their finances in a bid to reduce violence in the Central American country. Bukele, 37, took office this month pledging to bring down a sky-high murder rate and reduce poverty, corruption and mass migration to the United States.

“We are not open to having a dialogue with criminal groups,” said the political maverick who ended three decades of two-party rule with his election victory in February. “We have not received communications from the gangs and we don’t expect any either,” Bukele said at a swearing-in ceremony for his deputy justice minister. El Salvador is one of a trio of countries in Central America, along with Guatemala and Honduras, that has seen thousands of desperate migrants flee raging gangland violence and bleak economic prospects over the past couple years.

Last week, the director of the police force vowed to do more to fight organized crime and said it was raiding dangerous areas to recover territory from the gangs, capture their leaders and confiscate arms, illicit cash and drugs.(Reuters)…[+]