This is an interesting article published by the International Press Service (IPS) about the violence in El Salvador.
By Edgardo Ayala
SAN SALVADOR, Oct 29 (IPS) - Spatula in hand, forensic scientist Israel Ticas carefully excavates a decomposed human foot protruding from a shallow grave in rough terrain in the mountains of Las Crucitas, close to Ciudad Arce in the west-central Salvadoran province of La Libertad.
Other body parts, already identified by the expert, give him some idea of what kind of person lies buried here in bushy thickets between plots of farmland planted with coffee and beans.
The body is that of a young man under 20, who at the moment of death was decapitated and dismembered: his head, feet and arms were severed from his trunk.
These are probably the remains of a person reported missing to the authorities in mid-October, who lived in the El Bosque shanty town in Ciudad Arce. Although the investigation has just begun, everything points to one of El Salvador's notorious "maras" or youth gangs.
The main gangs in El Salvador are Mara Salvatrucha and Mara 18 (18th Street Gang), and they are sworn enemies. Drug mafias, maras and death squads are all waging undercover wars in this country of 5.7 million people.
"This young man was murdered about a month ago. There's probably another body, about 15 metres away, because we have found more bones there," Ticas tells IPS.
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