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El Salvador records no murders on final day of July

August 2, 2019 GMT
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Presidential House in San Salvador, El Salvador, Sunday, July 21, 2019. Pompeo ends his Latin American tour in this Central American country. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Presidential House in San Salvador, El Salvador, Sunday, July 21, 2019. Pompeo ends his Latin American tour in this Central American country. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)
El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele speaks during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Presidential House in San Salvador, El Salvador, Sunday, July 21, 2019. Pompeo ends his Latin American tour in this Central American country. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — El Salvador’s new president is touting a rare day without a homicide in this small but violent Central American nation.

President Nayib Bukele said Thursday that there was not a single killing the previous day, the final day of July. The Attorney General’s Office and the morgue confirmed there were no homicides Wednesday.

Criminologist Ricardo Sosa said that has happened only eight times since 2000.

July was Bukele’s second month in office, and Sosa said it saw an average of five homicides a day. Justice Minister Rogelio Rivas said the 154 killings in July were down from 291 during the same month last year.

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Sosa said there are signs that Bukele’s efforts against gang violence are working, but the challenge will be sustaining the results.