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El Salvador’s Minister of Justice and Security (highest murder rate in the world): “You don’t know where the state ends and the criminal organizations begin.”


A piece in the Wall Street Journal explains why people are fleeing El Salvador on foot– in plastic sandals known as “flip-flops”, no less.  The short summary is that it has something to do with the murder rate there, which is the highest in the world.  Those committing the murders are members of the gangs who control the country: mainly MS-13 and Barrio-18.  The minister of justice and security, Mauricio Ramirez Landaverde, said: [the gangs are so pervasive that] “you don’t know where the state ends and the criminal organizations begin.”  That is an ominous statement for a country’s minister of justice to make.

Gangs are estimated to control 16% of El Salvador’s GDP, and they are the largest employer in the nation.  They have an estimated income of $4 billion a year.  More than 60,000 people work for the gangs in some capacity, and almost everyone who lives in the country is subject to their extortion rackets.

Reforming a situation like that would require an invasion and/or the allocation of billions of dollars, not to mention 50,000 soldiers– something only the United States could do.  Unfortunately, we have a president who would rather preen and play politics than do anything about the suffering of millions of people in Central America for whom we are ultimately responsible.

We are at fault because Reagan broke El Salvador in the 1980’s.  (Look it up on Wikipedia if you have time.  I am old enough to remember the civil wars that raged in Central America at Reagan’s instigation with money from sales of missiles to Iran– see also my previous post about how Reagan colluded during the election with revolutionary Iran to coordinate the release of hostages only when he came into power.)

Unfortunately, the Wall Street article is behind a paywall, but you can catch a summary of the article (there is a great deal of detail) if you visit the “Microsoft News” website, which is a feature of Windows 10. Try the “world news” section.  Not that I’m recommending it– it has many of the same features which could cause the same problems with which Facebook news feeds are plagued.  It is possible that your settings (related to your previous clicks) are such that this article will not appear on your news feed if you try to find it on “Microsoft News” on your computer.

(illustration courtesy of and Public_Domain_Photography)

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