El Salvador is set to eclipse Honduras as the country with the highest homicide rate in the world. There have already been over 5,700 murders this year in a country with a population of just over six million. El Salvador's murder rate is now the highest it's been since the end of the country's brutal civil war — there is on average around one murder an hour.

The staggering death toll follows the breakdown of a truce between powerful, rival gangs and the government. Police and military are now combatting the gangs head-on and, as part of its so-called "iron fist" strategy, gang members are being charged with a new crime — membership of a terrorist organization.

In part one of our five-part series, VICE News correspondent Danny Gold headed to El Salvador to investigate what many are now calling a war between gangs and the government.

Read "The 18th Street Gang Just Set Out To Prove It Runs El Salvador's Transport System"

Read "El Salvador's Gang Truce Is Getting Fragile"