In the past seven days, nearly 200 people have been murdered in El Salvador.
Authorities reported that 196 people were killed between Sept. 21 and 28 — equating to an average of 28 murders per day.
But despite the spiraling murder rate, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, the president of El Salvador, has said the government will not change its security policy.
“We regret the rise in homicides in the past days, however, this cannot take us off the path that we have started and which has given us good results,” the president said during a meeting of the National Security and Citizens’ Community Council.
Authorities have attributed the escalating violence to clashes between rival gangs MS13 and the recently formed dissident faction MS503.
But of the 34 people who were killed on Wednesday, only two were gang members.
Three police officers and two military members were also killed in the past seven days.
El Salvador's homicide rate improved slightly last year after rising to 100 killings per 100,000 residents — but still remains one of the highest in the world.
As violence in El Salvador continues to escalate, U.S. President Donald Trump has suspended the Central American Minors program that allowed vulnerable children fleeing violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to apply for refugee status in the United States before leaving home.