HomeNewsBriefEl Salvador Peace Zone Mayors Say Truce Is Failing
BRIEF

El Salvador Peace Zone Mayors Say Truce Is Failing

EL SALVADOR / 1 NOV 2013 BY MIRIAM WELLS EN

Mayors of El Salvador's "peace zones" say the initiative has come to a standstill due to a lack of federal funds, yet another sign that the country's gang truce is dying a slow death.

In eight of El Salvador's 11 designated peace zones -- areas where members the two major gangs Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18 have pledged to end all criminal activity -- mayors say government-promised funds for violence prevention initiatives have failed to materialize, reported La Prensa Grafica. The officials told the newspaper the truce had therefore become unsustainable.

Salvador Ruano, mayor of Ilopango, which last January became the first peace zone to be inaugurated, said, "the current government does not want to know. The president has hidden himself away when he was one of the people who initiated this."

Raul Mijango, a former defense ministry adviser who was one of the mediators of the gang truce, agreed between MS13 and Barrio 18 in March 2012, said gang members were the only ones putting any effort in to the truce and taking promised actions.

Security Minister Ricardo Perdomo claimed every government ministry had violence prevention programs in place, and that money had been invested in municipalities across the country without a "pompous" fuss being made about it. "That is a lie, ask him how much money the administration has spent," said Mijango.

InSight Crime Analysis

There was initially great cause for optimism for El Salvador's gang truce, with murder rates dropping by 45 per cent within a year of it being signed. But since that impressive feat was announced, bad news has just kept coming -- including rises in extortion; disappearances and clandestine grave discoveries; reports gang leaders cannot enforce the agreement among all members, and complaints that the social programs needed to ensure the truce's sustainability have not been enacted. 

SEE ALSO: El Salvador's Gang Truce: Positives and Negatives

The government has gone back and forth on whether it supports the truce or not, and in recent months political debate over its value has become increasingly bitter, as campaigns for next year's presidential elections get underway.

Without significant and committed social investment the project is destined to failure, and the mayors' comments this week suggest more firmly than ever that such an outcome is only a matter of time.

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

BARRIO 18 / 24 AUG 2021

A scrapped investigation by El Salvador’s former Attorney General has revealed a massive trove of evidence that the administration of…

BARRIO 18 / 25 APR 2021

The ideas of masculinity, discrimination and homophobia within El Salvador's gangs are at the heart of "Unforgivable," a documentary who…

EL SALVADOR / 7 JUN 2021

The announcement of the end of El Salvador’s anti-graft commission, which had been backed by the Organization of American States,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Escaping Barrio 18

27 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an investigation charting the story of Desafío, a 28-year-old Barrio 18 gang member who is desperate to escape gang life. But there’s one problem: he’s…

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…