EFESan Salvador

The number of murders in El Salvador between January and September increased by 71.4 percent compared with the same period in 2014, making 2015 the most violent year in recent history in the Central American country, according to police figures.

Up through September 30, the number of violent deaths - specifically murders - totaled 5,015, compared with 2,926 during the same nine-month period last year.

The homicide tally to date is already 28 percent higher than the number of murders in all of 2014: 3,915.

In addition, the number of murders through September exceeds the number committed in 2009, when El Salvador attained the tragic distinction of being the "most violent country in the world," at least on a per capita basis.

In that year, 4,382 people were killed in the Central American nation, but the 2015 total to date exceeds that figure by 14.6 percent, or 633 deaths.

This year is the most violent year since the country's 1980-1992 civil war, although before 1999 the annual number of violent deaths was higher than the current figure, according to the Institute of Legal Medicine, or IML, which at the time tallied "all types of violent deaths," including people who died from choking or poisoning, which were not necessarily murders.

"The aforementioned (figure) is important for ruling out distorted interpretations that argue that during the 1990's there were more presumed murders," said the IML in a communique in response to comments by journalists that the number of murders in that decade was greater than the tally up to August, at least.

El Salvador's estimated population was 6.3 million in 2013.