Friday, May 04, 2007

Los Angeles to work with El Salvador on gang violence

The mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, was in El Salvador this week (while his city's police were losing control and beating up May Day protesters). As this NPR story tells, the mayor wants to work with El Salvador on the gang problem which plagues them both:

Some of the most dangerous gangs in Los Angeles have strong ties with the Central American country. The Los Angeles area is home to as many as a million Salvadoran immigrants.

One of the greatest commonalities between the two areas is gang violence, particularly the Mara Salvatrucha and the 18th Street gangs that were born on the streets of Los Angeles.

"These gangs are transnational, and we've gotta work across borders smart, in a multi-pronged way: suppression, prevention and intervention," he said....

During a meeting with President Elias Antonio Saca of El Salvador, Villaraigosa signed a formal agreement with the chief of the National Civilian Police force to stem a wave of so-called cross-border gang members: those who immigrate to the United States and those who get deported back to El Salvador.

As part of the plan, officers from the Los Angeles Police Department's gang unit will share training, tactics and intelligence with the Salvadoran force.(more)
.
And perhaps El Salvador can provide training to the Los Angeles police on peaceful crowd control, as demonstrated by May 1 Labor Day marches which passed without incident in San Salvador.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

oursisterparish.org is an incredible website that you could add to your links. check it out...i participated in a trip with that parish and now i am packing my bags to move to el salvador

El-Visitador said...

Come on Tim, you are not being serious!

"Labor Day marches which passed without incident in San Salvador"

And you link to a news report that states:

1. Private property was extensively defaced (cars & buildings)
2. The journalists questioned the cops as to why they did nothing to stop the ongoing damages

I am not sure you would be so cool to the defacement if people spray painted slogans and insults in your home, your car, or your business in the U.S., nor do I think you would praise your local town's police for standing by the crime, doing nothing.

Tim, it would cost you thousands of dollars to have your car repainted!

Anonymous said...

Would El Visitador want the people who did non-violent property defacement to be charged under the new anti-terrorism law? We should not sentence them to 25-30 years, as the law calls for in cases of occupation of buildings, but maybe 10-15 years. Obviously this defacement is Communist terrorism at its worst. I am sure the wealthy are quaking with terror and fear in their mansions in Escalon.

Tim said...

E-V,

I suppose it would have been more accurate for me to write that the May 1 marches in El Salvador passed with no incidents where police used excessive violence against protesters. As I saw the video of the police actions in LA, it occurred to me that the police in El Salvador are often (but not always) much more restrained in the face of provocation than were the police in LA. You apparently take the view that on May 1, the police in El Salvador were too restrained and should have acted more aggressively to curb vandalism. Perhaps -- but I also do not want to see any repeats of last July 5 outside the University of El Salvador.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha, I liked your last sentence. Nice punch. It was abominable to see the CNN footage of the LA Migrant day protests with the police just shooting barrage after barrage of plastic bullets to disperse the crowd, and whatever fool happened to fall was prone to have a close encounter with a batton.

On the other hand, in my opinion, in ILEA will no doubt have that type of disperse the mob tactics as a top priority. They turn our police just as repressive as LA's.

walrus said...

Tim what happened last July 5 outside of the University of El Salvador was anarchists firing at and killing police officers, who then responded with great restraint. That whole scenario was designed to provoke a response that would get students killed. It failed. You also neglected to mention why the L.A. PD responded the way they did. Even the parade organizers blamed it originally on anarchists vandalizing property. Again this was meant to provoke a response, which would result in injury to parade participants but for the anarchists, they don´t care, that´s their goal. Here in El Salvador or Latin America for that part, I´m amazed that any type of official response to destruction of public or private property done in the course of a manifestación is deemed repression, unless of course you´re in Cuba, where manifestaciónes against the government somehow fail to materialize. No repression here. The U.S. has about a free speech as any country in the world, but if you want to gather your friends to burn a few tires and shut down a busy street in most cities there, you´ve got about 15 minutes before you go to jail. Here you receive police protection. So the rule of law is viewed as repression, and the countries engaged in real repression, i.e. Castro´s workers paradise, gets a free ride. Interesting.