Could the U.S. be Blamed for Gang Violence in El Salvador?

CREDIT: SEEKER STORIES / YOUTUBE

“It was Easier During the War.”

30 murders a day. Killers as young as 12. 80 percent of homicides gang-related. The violence in El Salvador is almost unfathomable…and in part, blamed on the U.S.

During the 12-year long civil war in the 1980s and early 90s, many Salvadorans emigrated to the U.S. and joined either La Mara Salvatrucha (MS 13) or Barrio 18, both Los Angeles-based gangs. When the U.S. stepped in and started deporting gang members to their home country, all hell broke lose back in El Salvador.

READ: Rape, Murder, Kidnapping: The Reality of Teenage Girls in El Salvador

Photojournalist, Patrick Tombola, captured the deplorable state of the country during a recent. While documenting the lives of Salvadorans trapped in this violence, he heard something shocking: “One thing that people keep repeating is that it was easier during the war. At least, you knew who your real enemies were,” he said. “Today, anyone can be grabbing a gun and shoot at you without repercussions.”

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