Saturday, March 09, 2013

News on the anniversary of the truce

Today is the one year anniversary of the gang truce in El Salvador.   In El Salvador it was marked with a ceremony declaring the city of Apopa to be the 5th "city fee of violence."     At the event, gang members turned in over 267 weapons.  In these cities, the gangs agree to cease criminal activities, and the local governments make commitments to projects where gang members can find training and employment.

In an update to my post from Thursday, Father Antonio Rodriguez has now stated publicly that he will participate in the truce process.    This is a fairly dramatic change in direction for the Spanish priest who had been a critic of the truce, and follows a meeting he had with Raul Mijango, one of the mediators of the truce.   Yesterday Father Antonio participated in an event for the one year anniversary of the truce at the Ilopango women's prison.   His change of position also follows an armed attack at a medical clinic associated with Father Antonio's ministries in Mejicanos on Thursday.  Participants in the event in Apopa welcomed the news of Father Antonio's participation.

Meanwhile, the truce process and the "cities free from violence" is dividing right wing ARENA politicians.    ARENA presidential candidate Norman Quijano disagrees with the process and the negotiations with the gangs.   On the other hand, the ARENA mayors of towns like Apopa are supporting the violence free city initiative.


Dave Kinnear said...

This is a very interesting moral dilemma: Stop terrorizing the nation and receive government aid; attack a church-run medical clinic and gain the support of the priest. I wonder how El Salvador gets past the situation in which the criminals seem to be running the country.

Lawrence M. Ladutke said...

Actually, the truce is about not killing rival gang members, not ceasing criminal activities. Extortion goes on as normal.

alex said...

The truce is about a process to identify and address the issues that lead to violence. Stopping the killing is part of that. They need the jobs that no other government has given the Salvadoran people to stop not only extortion but common kidnaping for ramson, auto thefts, home invation and common robberies. Not only done by gang members but other organized bandas and common people who resort to these things because of failed policies that have only made the rich richer and poor poorer.