Salvadorian President Mauricio Funes has told Al Jazeera that he is increasingly concerned about the recruitment of some of the Central American country's most feared gangs, or Maras.
In particular, the MS 13, Mara Salvatrucha, are being co-opted by Mexico's brutal Zetas drug cartel to work for them.
In the country's poorest neighbourhoods young people are recruited as foot soldiers by drug cartels in charge of extortion, kidnapping and killing.
Al Jazeera's Lucia Newman reports from San Salvador, El Salvador's capital.
Source: Al Jazeera