A thousand or more university youth marched through the streets of San Salvador to demonstrate their rejction of violence plaguing the youth and all residents of El Salvador. The march was one of black and white -- marchers in white T-shirts were joined by 692 marchers in black to symbolize the 692 young people who are murdered every six months. The march proceeded from the campus of the University of Central America to the Salvador del Mundo monument. The youth delivered the following demands:
- That the government administration commit itself to work on public policies of citizen security and against violence.
- That the institutions charged with the administration of justice work with more commitment to eliminate impunity for crime.
- That an attorney general be named immediately so that the institution charged with investigating criminal acts does not continue leaderless for more time.
- That the posession and carrying of firearms be completely banned since their only purpose is to kill.
- That the Human Rights Ombudsman (PDDH) maintain steadfastly the command of the Peace Accords towards the end of guaranteeing the fundamental rights of the citizens.
- That the system for protection of witnesses be improved in order to encourage reporting of crime and trust in the administration of justice.
- A greater participation and coordination of the municipalities in combatting crime.
In connection with this last demand, LPG reports a meeting Friday betwen president Mauricio Funes and leaders of El Salvador's municipalities promoting the formation of Committees for Violence Prevention in each town and city in the country. The committees are part of Funes' call for cooperation among all social sectors in order to combat the violence in Salvadoran society.
Recently LPG also reported that the European Union has promised close to $16 million to El Salvador for programs to work with youth in those areas where youth are at most risk of becoming gang victims or gang members (or both).
The march and meetings came as the murder toll so far this year approached 2800.