At least 125 people have been killed in the Latin American country of El Salvador in only three days, according to police.
At least 40, 42 and 43 people were killed on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday respectively, National Police chief Mauricio Ramirez told reporters on Wednesday.
“These are worrisome numbers. These are Salvadorans who are dying, regardless of who is a gang member or not,” Ramirez added.
Most of the killings were related to gang violence. The country has always been plagued by such violence, but the recent number in murder rate, according to AFP, shows the country has taken a turn for even worse.
The government of El Salvador believes that drug gang leaders were trying to force the government to sit down and hold talks with them.
According to Justice and Public Safety Minister Benito Lara, “They want to exert some pressure and for the government to grant some of the things they are asking for.”
Drug lords have repeatedly demanded that their leaders be transferred out of a maximum-security prison.
El Salvador’s top prosecutor, Luis Martinez, warned that “groups of terrorist criminals” would pay for any such attempt to force negotiations with the country’s leaders.
Between the months of January and June, there were 3,332 murders, up from 2,191 a year earlier in the same time period, government data showed.
National data shows that gangs have some 72,000 members operating across the country and that 13,000 of them are in detention.