EFESan Salvador

The Salvadoran Institute of Forensic Medicine, or IML, Monday told EFE this year the country recorded 3,992 murders and could close the month with 4,000.

If this trend continues then 2015 could end up as the most violent year of the 21st century in El Salvador.

The country would then exceed the figure of 4,382 murders registered in 2009, when it was considered the 'most violent country in the world'.

According to figures from IML, the figure of 4,000 homicides may as well be exceeded once August closes.

At this rate it could exceed 6,000 murders by the end of 2015 registering 96 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants.

The forensic institution explained between Aug 1-23, 660 killings were reported, nearly 41.32 percent more than in July, when the IML counted 467 violent deaths.

The daily average of August stands at 28.69 murders, while that of the approximately 235 days that have passed this year, the average is 16.98.

On Sunday police reported 43 similar crimes, the largest number of homicides in 24 hours so far this year.

However, the same day IML recorded a total of 52 violent deaths.

The Department of Statistics said recently the disparity between the daily figures recorded by both institutions lies in the time elapsed between the murder and forensic recognition.

Compared to the first 8 months of 2014, El Salvador registered an increase of 57.35 percent, that is, 1,455 murders more.

The last time the country recorded more than 4,000 murders was in 2011, a year prior to a truce among gangs during which daily murders were reduced from 12 to five.

Salvadoran security authorities blame gangs Barrio 18, Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and others for the high rate of homicide, forcing the government to negotiate privileges for their imprisoned leaders.

They added the rise in the number of murders is also due to the deaths of gang members in constant clashes between these groups and security forces.

This has been labeled by different sectors as a 'shadow war' between the government and the gangs.