Homicide rate down again in El Salvador but decline slows from 2012 after gangs signed truce

Homicides in El Salvador decreased again this year, but not as deeply as they did in 2012 after warring street gangs signed a truce.

President Mauricio Funes says the Central American country has averaged 6.8 killings a day so far in 2013. That compares to 7.1 last year, which was a big drop from about 12 daily slayings in 2011, before the Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 gangs signed a truce.

The rate had reached as high as 14 a day just before the truce. The two gangs have long fought turf battles as well as carrying out extortion, drug sales and other illicit activities.

Funes said Monday that official figures show the nation of 6 million people had 2,426 killings in 2013, 2,543 in 2012 and 4,354 in 2011.