Eight and one half months ago, president Tony Saca established a special Commission of Citizen Security and Social Peace, made up of representatives of all 5 political parties as well as representatives of churches, business and universities. Two weeks ago, the Commission issued its report titled Security and Peace, Challenge of a Nation: Recommendations for a Policy of Citizen Security in El Salvador. The report contains 75 consensus recommendations, summarized in El Faro. Among them:
- Expansion of gun control rules,
- Revision of the criminal and juvenile codes,
- Greater financial support and control of the National Civil Police (PNC),
- Re-engineering the prosecution and police institutions devoted to fighting crime, greater emphasis on prevention,
- Providing a more active role for local governments.
Finally, there was a development Friday on the case of the Suchitoto 13. A review panel of judges permitted 4 of the 13 defendants to be released from detention under special conditions. They are still charged with terrorist acts, however, along with the other 9 who remain imprisoned. The review panel rejected the petition of defense lawyers to dismiss all the pending terrorism charges.