After a wave of murders that killed more than 60 people in one day, the government declared a 30-day state of emergency at the end of March. This has now been extended again. So far there have been around 35,000 arrests.

In the so-called war against gangs in El Salvador, the state of emergency has been extended by a third month. In the vote in the parliament of the Central American country, 67 yes and 16 no votes were cast, as the parliament announced on Twitter.

After a wave of murders with 62 victims in one day alone, the government declared a 30-day state of emergency on March 27 and parliament extended it by a further 30 days. Since then, police say more than 34,500 suspected members of the powerful gangs have been arrested.

The state of emergency suspended a number of fundamental rights, such as freedom of assembly and the secrecy of telecommunications. The laws have also been tightened. The penalties for crimes committed by gang members have been increased. Human rights activists criticized the state of emergency. Amnesty International, for example, spoke of arbitrary mass arrests and the poor treatment of prisoners.

A few years ago, the country with around 6 million inhabitants had the highest murder rate in the world. The number of murders per 100,000 inhabitants was 103 in 2015, compared to 18 last year, according to the government.

According to reports from the “El Faro” portal and information from the US government, the decline is due, among other things, to a secret agreement between President Nayib Bukele and the gangs – which the authoritarian conservative ruler rejected. Some observers interpreted the wave of murders as a sign that the gangs were no longer satisfied with the alleged deal with the government.