HomeNewsBriefEl Salvador Gangs Call on New Government to Revive Truce
BRIEF

El Salvador Gangs Call on New Government to Revive Truce

BARRIO 18 / 6 JUN 2014 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

El Salvador's principal gangs -- among them the Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 -- have called on the new administration to maintain the country's gang truce, in what appears to be a last ditch effort to save both the pact and the benefits it has brought them.

"The historic opportunity to recover peace that began on March 9, 2012 remains open; taking advantage of this to the country's benefit depends on everyone," gang leaders announced in a June 3 statement (see attached document). They highlighted their early and consistent support for the government of recently instated President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, and asked the administration, the church, civil society and businessmen to join them in this cause.

The gang spokespeople blamed rising violence in the past year on poor government policy -- likely an implicit reference to the policies of Security Minister Ricardo Perdomo, a major truce critic.

Additionally, the gangs asked the new government to confront the "death squads" that had "recently taken the lives of many of our members, family members and civilians," stating that some of these groups operated inside the state apparatus.

The gangs denied reports they had recently been enforcing curfews on the population, blaming these instead on people who wanted to justify the death squads' actions.

InSight Crime Analysis

The outgoing Salvadoran government was instrumental in facilitating the truce between the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and Barrio 18, but changed its rhetoric in mid-2013 -- around the same time that dramatic security improvements began to reverse and homicides began to rise again. Security Minister Perdomo was one of the main protagonists in this, closing channels of communication between imprisoned gang members and claiming the gangs had used the truce to increase involvement in transnational drug trafficking. Shortly before leaving office, outgoing President Mauricio Funes announced the truce had "failed."

SEE ALSO: El Salvador Gang Truce: Positives and Negatives

With the most recent statement, it appears the gangs are attempting to appeal to the Sanchez Ceren government before the process can be shut down completely -- which would lead to a loss of the political capital and other benefits the initiative gave them.

Meanwhile, the denial of forced gang curfews -- which have been reported in various regions -- could indicate that the central leadership's control over their members is slipping, and that some local factions, or "cliques," are acting without their knowledge or approval.

The mention of death squads is also of interest. There have been recent reports of a resurgence of La Sombra Negra -- a death squad primarily active in the 1990s -- as well as the emergence of other groups involving security forces. While the government has denied these reports, the gangs' concern adds weight to fears the threat from the groups is real.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

BRAZIL / 23 NOV 2022

A lack of regulation surrounding how crypto-currencies are used by organized crime has left Latin America dangerously exposed.

EL SALVADOR / 3 OCT 2022

Extortion in the Northern Triangle is predominantly done from prisons, yet prison populations have been on the rise.

EL SALVADOR / 11 MAY 2021

A new report suggests women are increasingly playing an active role in the extortion activities of Central American gangs --…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…