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El Salvador: police on guard for gang violence during Holy Week ceremonies

March 22, 2016

Police in El Salvador are making a special effort to prevent gang violence during Holy Week ceremonies.

Gang violence has risen at an explosive rate in El Salvador. With 6,670 murders last year, the little Central American country has a homicide rate nearly 17 times the world's average. Attacks have even occurred during religious services, with two people injured in a shooting during a Good Friday procession in 2014. 

Gang members "just don't care where the target is," says Father Ricardo Acega, in whose parish the 2014 shooting occurred. In the past, the says, criminals would leave religious services alone. That is no longer the case.

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