April 8, 2016 / 12:26 AM / 3 years ago

El Salvador Congress approves $100 million loan to fight crime

El Salvador's President Salvador Sanchez Ceren addresses attendees during a plenary meeting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit at the United Nations Headquarters in Manhattan, New York September 25, 2015. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

SAN SALVADOR (Reuters) - El Salvador’s Congress on Thursday approved a $100 million loan from the Central American Bank for Economic Integration to help stem a tide of gang warfare that has turned the country into one of the most violent in the world.

The 20-year loan, whose interest rate has not yet been determined, will go towards improving criminal investigations, fighting gangs, prosecuting crimes and increasing police presence in the small, impoverished state.

The government of leftist president Salvador Sanchez Ceren has vowed “extraordinary” moves to battle the record wave of murders tied to gangs.

Gang violence fueled a 70 percent jump in El Salvador’s murder rate last year, putting it in contention to overtake Honduras as the world’s most murderous nation.

Reporting by Nelson Rentería; Writing by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Sandra Maler

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