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  • El Salvador Attorney General Douglas Melendez (center) walks out of the Mossack Fonseca offices in San Salvador, El Salvador.

    El Salvador Attorney General Douglas Melendez (center) walks out of the Mossack Fonseca offices in San Salvador, El Salvador. | Photo: Reuters

Douglas Melendez said he believes the threats are due to his prosecution of cases involving corruption and drug gangs.

Salvadoran Attorney General Douglas Melendez affirmed on Monday that he and his family have been threatened with death unless he resigns from his position by Aug. 15.

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Speaking to a local television station, he said that he believes the threats, originating from unidentified persons, are due to his prosecution of cases involving corruption, drug gangs and a slew of other crimes, according to the Associated Press.

While Melendez shrugged at explaining how the threats were delivered or conveyed, he said that he's taking them “serious” and pledged to not let them hamper his work.

Street gangs have resorted to targeting police and soldiers as El Salvador authorities have sought to crack down on these groups.

In January, leaders of the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, drafted a new proposal to negotiate a peace agreement with the government. The proposal included the possible disintegration of the criminal gang in the Central American country, according to the online magazine El Faro. It also called for talks that would include all political parties, the government, human rights organizations and leaders of two other main gangs operating in the country: 18 Sureños and 18 Revolucionarios — both factions of the Barrio 18 gang.

The willingness for dialogue is unprecedented because it proposes putting on the table for the first time two prime issues regarding the creation of government-backed processes to assist gang members get out of criminal groups and the possibility of gangs disbanding.

MS-13 spokespeople told El Faro that their proposal stems from the longstanding crisis of violence in El Salvador and to end clashes between gangs and security forces from escalating into a full blown “war.”

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