President Mauricio Funes today announced that the presence of Salvadoran soldiers in the streets to fight crime will be extended and expanded. From the Latin American Herald Tribune:
Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes announced Friday a one-year extension of the deployment of troops to help police battle crime.
“The military presence in the streets has had a very positive impact, all the opinion polls reflect that,” he told members of the armed forces at an event marking the Day of the Soldier.
Funes said he was expanding from 19 to 29 the number of zones to be patrolled by soldiers.
“We trust that in these 12 months they (the troops) bring the results the population hopes for,” he said, stressing that the “participation of the armed forces, while very valuable, must be seen only as an exceptional measure.”
Besides participating in joint patrols with the National Police, troops will have a role in patrolling the country's borders and will be deployed within some of the country's most dangerous prisons.