Loosely translated from an article by Juan Jose Dalton in La Opinion:
On May 17, representatives from civic organizations, business groups and politicians made a "shout to the heavens" to demand a stop to criminal violence that in the last 72 hours claimed the lives of 44 persons, including a family of 5, and put in question the anti-crime policies put in place by the last two governments of El Salvador.
To these protests of civic organizations and the political opposition were added the representatives of some of the most important businessmen in El Salvador. The National Association of Private Business (ANEP) warned that nobody wants to invest in countries where violence exists. Private business is more and more worried by the subject of violence since the last year when a United Nations study revealed that crime costs as much as $1.7 billion to the government and business.
Meanwhile the government made no change in its strategy, but increased the funding for enforcement. El Diario de Hoy reported Tony Saca's announcement that an additional $14 million will be designated for the National Police to combat gangs and violence in the country.
But should I write about this? From time to time people e-mail me or post comments on this blog complaining that I am putting El Salvador in a bad light. They worry that I will scare tourists away from the country. And they urge me to spend more time writing about the good things in El Salvador.
I have a few thoughts about that. First, it is true that there are more "negative stories" than positive ones on the blog. The balance reflects the balance of what the media writes about. Since my posts typically reflect what I find in the press, and the press writes about problems more than it writes about good news, the blog reflects that. I will try to adjust the balance somewhat going forward.
Second, I write from the perspective of someone who loves the country and its people and wants to see improvements in the life of the people. There can't be improvements unless there is a clear understanding of what problems exist and an open discussion of what solutions can be pursued. I hope this blog contributes in some small measure to that discussion.
Anyone want to comment?