Gang Leader Arrested After the Deadly El Salvador Bus Strike That Paralyzed the Capital

Lead Photo: Photo by Derek Brumby / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Photo by Derek Brumby / iStock / Getty Images Plus
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This week, violent gangs took over El Salvador’s transportation system, forcing bus drivers to go on an involuntary strike. In three days, nine bus drivers were killed for not obeying the gang’s orders, according to The Associated Press. The last one was killed while filling up the tank of his bus. On Tuesday night, the leader for Barrio 18, Cesar Vladimir Montoya Climacom, was arrested in San Salvador. Barrio 18 is using the public transportation as a way to negotiate with the government.

If the attacks continue, the Salvadoran military is ready to deploy 600 soldiers, Efe reports. David Munguía Payés said on Wednesday that everything was ready. This would be in addition to the 100 extra troops helping police secure San Salvador.

There are some who say that it’s not just the gangs who are behind the strike. The Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), a left-wing political party, is accusing right-wing groups of being involved. FMLN Secretary General Medardo Gonzalez thinks the strikes are supposed to “destabilize the government,” and he doesn’t think this is an isolated offense for the right-wing, according to teleSUR.