The second question is whether the government will respond favorably to a proposal by MS-13 and Barrio 18 Sureños to sit down at a table with the government and a mediator such as the Catholic church. The gangs say the discussions could include the possibility of dismantling the gangs. Hector Silva Avalos summed up the prospects of discussions in a piece at InsightCrime titled
Negotiations Between El Salvador Govt, MS13 Prove Elusive:
According to security officials, the state is willing to stay the course with its extraordinary measures and continue to tolerate abuses such as those that occurred in Armenia. President Sánchez Cerén's silence, on the other hand, bears the signs of political calculations that do not yet add up to being in favor of dialogue.
The possible participation of the Catholic Church, this time with the institutional support of the bishops and the Vatican's diplomatic representative (the local nuncio), as well as whispers of the UN's possible participation, appear to indicate that certain dynamics could very well have changed.
Nevertheless, up until now nothing clearly demonstrates that this will give rise to productive talks, despite the MS13's proposal and the good intentions of the Catholic priests.Meanwhile a protest at the gates of the National Assembly yesterday addressed both issues. Family members of gang members accompanied by Lutheran bishop Medardo Gomez rallied to advocate against an extension of the exceptional measures saying they were too punitive on families who could not see their fathers and brothers in the prison. Bishop Gomez also continued his consistent call for dialogue with the gangs. According to an article in La Prensa Grafica, police at the rally were visibly hostile and arrested twelve young men in the crowd, and stating that blood was going to run in the streets after gangs killed a police agent the day before.