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AP’s deep dive on the consequences of El Salvador crackdown on gangs

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AP reporter Megan Janetsky, video journalist Fernanda Pesce and freelance photographer Salvador Meléndez overcame access problems and people’s fear to carefully report about the El Salvador government’s crackdown on gangs, giving a deep dive portrait of the Central American country.    

Janetsky, Pesce and photo stringer Meléndez spent several days touring the capital and its outskirts, stepping foot in some areas that were absolutely impossible to enter just one year ago. Bloodshed has faded away in some of the most dangerous areas, and many Salvadorans enjoy new freedoms after the government of Nayib Bukele suspended constitutional rights and started an all-out offensive on gangs. The arrests of more than 65,000 people have been called “indiscriminate” detentions by human rights groups and now fear of the gangs is replaced by fear of the very government claiming to protect people. 

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