Waging War: Gangs of El Salvador (Part 1)
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.