The smallest country in Central America, El Salvador, has a history deeply rooted in violence with one of the highest crime rates in Latin America.
According to the 2014 UNICEF report ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’, El Salvador is now the most deadly peacetime country, with more children murdered per capita than anywhere else in the world. From 2014 to 2015, murder rates increased by 70%, the highest of any country in the past 20 years.
As always, in situations like this, it is children, especially those without the protection and care of a home or family, who suffer the most.
Children living and working on the streets are some of the most vulnerable to the daily onslaught of the brutality that gangs impose and many are targeted by gang members who recruit them to traffic drugs or carry out illegal violent crimes.