In a land of brutal violence, Salvador's women and girls are targeted for rape and murder

December 22, 2014 4:30 PM

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In a land of brutal violence, Salvador's women and girls are targeted for rape and murder

In this Oct. 23, 2014, file photo, Elba Magdalena Alvarez, 17, lies dead by the side of the road in San Salvador, El Salvador, after she was allegedly pulled out of a bus by gang members and then shot, according to an eyewitness on the bus. She was naked from the waist down and police were trying to determine if she had been raped. Officially, 239 women and girls have been murdered in El Salvador so far this year, and 201 have been registered as missing. Through the month of August, 361 rapes were reported--more than two-thirds of them against minors. But experts say that does not begin to tell the story of female sexual abuse here, particularly of the violence committed by street gangs with tens of thousands of members who control swaths of the country by instilling fear. (AP Photo,File) (The Associated Press)

In this Oct. 23, 2014, file photo, police investigators work on the scene where Elba Magdalena Alvarez, 17, was found dead by the side of the road in San Salvador, El Salvador, after she was allegedly pulled out of a bus by gang members and then shot, according to an eyewitness on the bus. She was n...

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