Public Opinion in El Salvador in Relation to Disappearance Rates

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Public Opinion in El Salvador in Relation to Disappearance Rates

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During recent years, gangs in El Salvador have become increasingly powerful. Additionally, people in El Salvador continue to feel the effects of the gangs in the form of violent crimes and corrupt and controlled local governments. A crime often attributed to the gangs is disappearances. Disappearances cause fear and propagate awe of the power that the gangs hold. These effects need to be evaluated, this is done in this paper by looking at if there is correlation between public opinion, evaluated through a yearly survey, and disappearance rates per 100,000 people during the years 2010-2017. The data is separated on a regional basis to look at the variances in different parts of the country, as well as on a gendered basis to look at male and female residents. Both of these categories will be evaluated in three public opinion sections to measure the impact of disappearance rates. The first section measures whether there is a correlation between perception of crime and the biggest issues facing El Salvador, and disappearance rates. The second measures whether there is correlation between trust in public institutions and disappearance rates. Finally, the third measures whether there is correlation between a desire to leave the country and disappearance rates. I have found that while the first and third sections indicate little correlation between the variables, the second section, evaluating trust in public institutions, did show some correlation between variables. This demonstrates that people may be attributing disappearances rates to a failure of public institutions in their local regions to effectively control gang violence.


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Harrell, Eva. (2020). Public Opinion in El Salvador in Relation to Disappearance Rates. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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