A forensic team investigates the scene of a murder in Olocuilta. Four gang members approached a female candy vendor on a secluded pathway in Montelimar neighbourhood and shot her over 20 times after she refused to hand over her earnings.
Police patrol murder scene in Montelimar neighbourhood, Olocuilta.
El Salvador is consistently among world’s most dangerous countries. In recent years gang violence has plagued the country forcing many citizens to flee in migrant caravans in search of a better life to the north in the USA.
Armed police patrol MS-13 controlled neighbourhood in Central San Salvador, one of the most violent cities in one of the most violent countries the world, with 5,257 intentional homicides committed in 2016 in El Salvador (83 murders per 100,000 population.)
Grafitti tag marking MS-13 territory in Illopango in the outskirts of San Salvador.
Ex MS-13 pandilleros Nelson and Franklin serving time for homicide and extortion respectively, stand in their cell in Apanteos prison.
Raul, an ex 18th Street gang member, waits to undergo a laser removal session for some of his many tattoos. after serving time in San Francisco Gotera prison. Raul left gang life behind to raise a family and become a pastor. In El Salvador gang code dictates that the only way you can leave your clica is to either die or become a man of God
(From left to right) Manuel Pérez, Carlos Salguero, José de Paz, Ángel Hernández, Yancy De León on the scene of a car crash in San Salvador. Comandos De Salvamento is one of many paramedic groups in San Salvador. at the scene of an accdent many paramedics from different groups will arrive and provide support and assistance to each other. at this emergency there were 3 CDS ambulance crews providing support to 2 Red Cross crews that arrived on the scene before them.
The general Salvadorian public continue to live their lives the best they can under the near constant threat of violence.
The motivations for those that leave El Salvador are quite clear and understandable; escape from the unending cycle of violence, desire for familial safety, opportunity and a better quality of life, but what motivates those to stay amidst the violence>
An ambulance lights up an outer wall of one of the many emergency rooms in San Salvador
Cammandante Arevalo during a raid on suspected gang residencies in Central San Salvador.
Kalo, a late night tv news cameraman, sets up for an interview with forensics team at a murder scene in Olocuilta
Horacio, an ex MS-13 gang member serving time for homicide, wears a Roman soldier outfit that he made for recent Easter celebrations. The costume was made during an arts and crafts programme which is part of ‘Yo Cambio’ a government run scheme to provide inmates with High school equivalency qualifications to better equip themselves for life outside of prison. Apanteos Prison.
Police raid the house of a suspected gang member. a substantial amount of cocaine was found in the property.
A teenager lays dead in the street after an altercation with gang members. Police surmised that he had some involvement in drug dealings. his motorbike was stolen.
A prostitute waits on a street corner during a rainy evening in Centro San Salvador. women have many roles in gang life. many of these roles are exploitative and they a regularly the victims of extreme violence. with rates of femicide in El Salvador among the highest in the world.
The mother of teenager murdered for his motorbike is comforted by relatives after police confirmed it was her son’s body on the other side of the police cordon.
Police transporting gang members in downtown San Salvador.
MS-13 gang members newly arrived at Apanteos prison are kept in a cramped holding cell separate from the main population. Approximately 75 prisoners have been held in this one cell for up to 90 days with only 5 minutes per day outside to either shower, make a call or use the toilet.
Francisco (left) a night shift photographer for popular national tabloid newspaper La Prensa Grafica, enjoys pupusas with colleagues during a short break on a busy Saturday night in San Salvador.
Police set up a cordon around a crime scene in MS-13 controlled downtown San Salvador. Two murder suspects led police on a short high speed chase through the city before abandoning their car and fleeing on foot.
A Comandos De Salvamento ambulance parked at the scene of a young boy injured by a puncture wound to the leg. San Salvador.
Police investigate the the murder of a man who was shot in a car on a desolate stretch of highway between San Salvador and La Libertad.
Kalo prepares to shoot footage at a police cordon in Mejicanos.
An elderly woman was shot dead whilst sleeping in a hammock outside her home. During the same evening 16 intentional homicides were recorded across El Salvador with at least 11 being committed in or around the capital
Down time at the Comandos De Salvamento headquarters in Central San Salvador.
A suspected gang member lays prone on the floor whilst armed police search his home.
Raul undergoes laser removal treatment for some of his many tattoos. once a gang member has left pandillero life their tattoos become a stigma among the public and a target to his old clica
Kalo and Francisco plan a route to the scene of a Homicide in Illopango after a getting a whatsapp message from a contact.
Comandos De Salvamento transport injured man into emergency room
Kalo at the scene of a murder in Olucuilta
A man in his 60s was assassinated by gang members and then left on a secluded stretch of road near Illopango women’s prison. his semi naked body had been bound and then wrapped in a heavy blanket.
An ex gang member displays his tattoos, Apanteos Prison. The prisoner, serving multiple life sentences for multiple homicides. is part of the Yo Cambio (I Change) Government scheme aimed at rehabilitating prisoners through educational and religious programmes.
Manuel serving a 10 year sentence at Apanteos Prison for an Extortion conviction.
Pastor Saul, an ex gang member and now a man of God who works to rehabilitate active, and retired gang members. His home in Soyapango was once an MS-13 Destroyer House where drugs were manufactured, weapons were stored and victims were taken to be tortured and killed. It now doubles as a chapel for weekly cultos (masses)
Ex MS-13 pandilleros learn barbering skills inside Apanteos Prison
Pastor Saul conducts a sermon during a Culto for Ex addicts and gang members in Mejicanos.
Kalo speaks with a forensec lead investigating the shooting of a young man in a restaurant in Downtown San Salvador.
Prison warden looks through the caged roof of a cell in Apanteos prison
A couple dances in a restaurant late on a Saturday night in San Salvador. less than 100 metres down the road police investigated the murder of a security guard in another restaurant.
Onlookers at the scene of a shooting homicide in downtown San Salvador. A security guard was shot in a late night restaurant. his gun was stolen in the incident.