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She was sentenced to 10 years at the Centro de Inserción Social Femenino, a Salvadoran prison for girls.
"But my lawyer says if I'm good, I'll only get four." She was from Santa Tecla, a relatively safe and trendy town on the outskirts of San Salvador."You know Paseo del Carmen?
Girls are assets to the gangs—inconspicuous foot soldiers, and excellent cannon fodder.
Trim and girlish, Dalia had a dark, mottled bruise on her bicep that appeared relatively fresh—the result of a game, she explained, that she and her inmate friends liked to play at night: They'd punch each other until one of them cried uncle. It looked like someone could topple Dalia with the slightest shove, but she stiffened at the question."Of course," she said, stone-faced. Then she stood up and joined the players out on the raggedy field.
At the edge of the field, a girl named Dalia explained that she was in for drug trafficking.
She'd fallen in with a crowd of low-level gangsters in her hometown.
Valentina, a chubby 17-year-old wearing hot-pink spandex shorts, pink Converse, pigtails, and heavy eyeliner, sat on a cement bench in the back of a courtyard, hunched over a cell phone she had half-concealed between her knees.
Approximately 45 percent of the murdered women were under the age of 30, and of those, 34 percent were under the age of 18.
Some have been beheaded, and autopsies reveal that the majority of the victims suffer torture and sexual abuse before dying."More than three-quarters of femicides in El Salvador are never prosecuted.
As femicide rates have risen over the past decade, so has the number of young women and girls entering gang life.
" she asked excitedly, referring to the bustling strip of locally owned shops, bars, and restaurants. "Valentina's job for a local gang chapter had been to go door to door collecting , the bi-weekly "tax" imposed on businesses and sometimes individuals.
"The problem is that, in Santa Tecla, they have cameras." She shrugged. We were on the MS-13 side of the prison—all Salvadoran prisons are divided to keep rival gangs apart.