El Salvador recorded a grisly milestone with 635 homicides in May, an average of about 20 a day.

It is believed to be the most violent deaths for a single month since the Central American nation's civil war ended in 1992.

Justice Minister Benito Lara attributes the violence to gang turf wars.

National police director Mauricio Ramirez Landaverde also points to what he calls a deliberate attempt by criminal organizations to ramp up violence. He said Tuesday that 60 percent of the homicide victims were gang members.

El Salvador recorded 481 homicides in March, at the time the highest monthly toll in at least a decade. There were 421 killings in April.

The country's homicide rate dropped during a 2012-13 gang truce, but rose again after it fell apart.