Last week the Mara Salvatrucha and 18th Street gangs signed a truce in Honduras, modeled on the one in El Salvador. Again, persons from the Catholic Church were involved in mediating the agreement.
Blogger Boz wrote about the new truce in the region in his blog:
1. The truce is unlikely to have the same level of success in Honduras as it did in El Salvador. Even those brokering the Honduran truce admit that. The gangs in Honduras are more diverse with less centralized leadership. There are also other actors involved in the crime and violence, including the Honduran police, that complicate the issue.
2. Let me add a bit of caution to that first point. Many analysts, myself included, underestimated the potential success of the Salvadoran gang truce when it was first reached. I did not expect the truce in El Salvador to lower the violence by nearly half, nor did I think it would remain so solidly in place over a year later. I'd be happy to be similarly wrong about Honduras if it means reducing violence by half.
3. Even a little success with this truce would be good. A 10% decline in murders would be hundreds of fewer deaths, particularly in San Pedro Sula. For that reason, we shouldn't hold this truce to the standard of El Salvador and we should be happy for any sustainable decline in violence that it can bring.You can hear another view comparing the two truce processes from Sonja Wolf, a researcher on gang and other issues based in Mexico, who was interviewed today on Latin Pulse, an online broadbast from American University.