On Saturday night, a U.S. citizen was shot and killed in El Salvador. Michael James Brown, aged 53 or 55, was driving a rental car along with his Salvadoran wife on a coffee farm in San Isidro. San Isidro is located in the municipality of Izalco, Sonsonate.
They were attacked by a group of 8 to 10 men. According to authorities, Brown died after being shot at least five times in the head and shoulder. His wife, who was injured but was able to escape, is now being held as a witness.
As of today, Salvadoran authorities do not appear to have a motive for the crime. The attackers apparently hid among the coffee trees until their targets approached. They were waiting specifically for Brown and his wife. The couple frequently travel between the U.S and El Salvador. $1,500 remained behind at the scene of the crime which leads the police to believe that robbery was not a motive. It's possible that a gang operating in that area of Izalco was responsible for his death but it is still too early in the investigation.
According to Contrapunto, Brown was a veteran of the U.S. armed forces.
His death, obviously, comes just a few weeks after the U.S. government issued an oddly-timed travel warning for El Salvador. The warning came after El Salvador experienced its least violent year in quite some time following a March 2012 gang truce between the MS-13 and 18th Street gangs.