Authorities in El Salvador say homicides increased 57 percent in 2014 to 3,912. They blamed most of the bloodshed on gangs.
National Police Commissioner Mauricio Ramírez Landaverde said Friday that there were 412 killings in December, an average of 13 a day. That was nearly double from the same month in 2013.
Ramírez Landaverde attributed the sharp increase to the dissolution of a pact among the Central American country’s criminal gangs. In March 2012, leaders of the gangs Mara Salvatrucha MS13 and Barrio 18 agreed to reduce violence, and homicides fell to an average of five a day.
The gangs are fighting over territories where they extort businesses and traffic drugs.
In 2013, El Salvador reported 2,492 homicides, and it listed 2,543 in 2012.