This is the moment alleged members of US-based street gang MS-13 brutally beat men with baseball bats for breaking El Salvador’s coronavirus lockdown.
Local media report MS-13 is working with two other street gangs to help enforce the quarantine brought in by El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele Ortez to stop the spread of coronavirus.
In the videos, reportedly recorded in the city of Santa Ana, men who were allegedly caught breaking the country’s strict lockdown can be seen being lined up against a wall and having the backs of their legs beaten with a baseball bat.
The men crumble to the ground in pain while in the second video the man being beaten stays on his feet as he is hit several times.
Reports state MS-13’s leaders in the country are working with two other gangs named Surenos and Revolucionarios of Barrio 18, who in total have 60,000 members, to enforce the lockdown in the counrty through violence.
According to local newspaper El Faro the gangs are supporting the government lockdown as they claim hospitals will not provide respirators for gang members, so they are looking to stop the spread of the virus.
The report states the gangs are also trying to avoid the rise of the police presence in their neighbourhoods by enforcing the rules themselves. The gangs have also established opening hours for shops in the territories they control, according to reports.
Citizens in El Salvador can only leave their homes for necessities or essential work during the lockdown.
The General Prosecution is investigating the two videos along with the national police and asked for victims to report similar incidents.
According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, El Salvador has registered 41 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with two deaths and nobody recovered.
MS-13 originated in Los Angeles in the 1970s and 1980s and was originally created to protect Salvadoran immigrants. The gang is now currently active across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America.
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