Diminishing Violence In El Salvador

The Organization of American States and the government of El Salvador signed a cooperation agreement on April 8 on cooperation, establishing a security assistance committee to support the Central American nation’s internal peace process. That effort has so far achieved a truce between the nation’s two main gangs, MS-13 and Barrio 18. The gang truce, begun in March 2012 and negotiated with the assistance of El Salvador’s military bishop, Fabio Colindres, and the social leader Raúl Mijango, has led to a significant drop in El Salvador’s homicide rate—to 5.9 murders per day from 14. The secretary general of the O.A.S., José Miguel Insulza, commented, “The truce between the gangs is just the beginning; changing the way of life of a significant number of young people, giving them hope, promoting peace and rehabilitating them is a much more complex task.”

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