Acting numbers: translating and quantifying death in El Salvador’s gang truce

Pedro dos Santos Maia


This work focuses on a truce established between criminal groups in El Salvador, commonly known as pandillas. Based on a specific conceptual framework and using a set of methods from the Actor-Network Theory, I intend to follow some controversies of this process regarding the fulfillment of the agreement, the stabilization of its beginning and closure, and the determination of its “success" or "failure”. In order to do so, we shall first see how the monthly homicide numbers produced by the country’s Institute of Legal Medicine act on these tensions, organizing and producing different versions of the truce. Next, we expect to shift our analyses towards actors that participate in the production of such numbers, influencing on the many narratives they create. Elements that usually remain unnoticed, or even forgotten, are the very focus of this work. Thus, this paper seeks to expand the literature on the truce period, while at the same time aiming to broaden discussions on the convergence between numbers, quantification, deaths and situations of violence.


Quantification; Violence; El Salvador

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DOI: 10.3895/rts.v16n39.10104


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Direitos autorais 2019 CC-BY

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Esta obra está licenciada sob uma licença Creative Commons Atribuição 4.0 Internacional.

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