El Salvador deploys new anti-gang special forces unit 22104161

Defence & Security News - El Salvador
El Salvador deploys new anti-gang special forces unit
The government of El Salvador has unveiled yesterday April 20 a new 1000-strong special forces unit to fight criminal gangs in rural areas. The government created the force to detect the top 100 members of Salvadorian crime clans, officials said on Wednesday.
El Salvador deploys new anti gang special forces unit 640 001Members of El Salvador's new anti-gang unit
The Special Reaction Force, made up of 600 military personnel and 400 police, will be deployed to "neutralize" the ruthless gangs that control swaths of the Central American nation's countryside.

"We are going to go after them in the countryside and in the city. We are going to hit those who try to create disorder," El Salvador's Vice President Oscar Ortiz said.

"Our success is not based on how many bullets are fired," force commander Howard Cotto said Wednesday. "Our success will be based on the trust our citizens feel when you see [police] in the territories at night, in the rain, in the worst conditions [so] our people can say, 'Here's our police and our armed forces to defend [us].’ "

This new Special Forces unit will be equipped with helicopters, armored vehicles, night-vision devices, machine guns.

The new force is part of a general crackdown in El Salvador against gangs.