El Salvador’s new attorney general is the point man in the war against gangs

By Joshua Partlow | The Washington Post
May 30, 2016

el salvador gangsSAN SALVADOR — The elevator operator, the man who escorts visitors to the sixth-floor office of El Salvador’s top justice official, happens to be blind.

Whether that is coincidence, or an intentional flourish on the part of the Central American country’s new attorney general, Douglas Meléndez Ruiz, the symbolism fits with the mood of cautious optimism surrounding his appointment.

El Salvador, Meléndez will be the first to tell you, is a country awash in crime. It is plagued by kidnappings, extortion, thefts from government coffers and residents’ back pockets and — although it is just the size of Massachusetts — one of the world’s highest homicide rates. That level of criminality, gang activity and impunity makes his job a crucial one for the country. And with thousands of Salvadorans fleeing the violence headed toward the Texas border, an important one for the United States, too.

Read more here:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/05/30/el-salvadors-new-attorney-general-is-the-point-man-in-the-war-against-gangs/

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