HomeNewsBriefEl Salvador Politicians Demand Investigation into Truce Mediator
BRIEF

El Salvador Politicians Demand Investigation into Truce Mediator

EL SALVADOR / 5 JUL 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Salvadoran officials have called for an investigation into truce mediator Raul Mijango, after he made comments suggesting that a recent spike in homicides is related to gang dissatisfaction and would drop again if certain conditions are met.

On July 4, Mijango said that he believed homicide levels would drop within 72 hours, and indicated that certain government measures, including restrictions put on imprisoned gang members under the country's new Security Minister Ricardo Perdomo, may be linked to the spate of killings. According to Mijango, these restriction led to the deaths of seven prisoners in three weeks, reported La Prensa Grafica.

The comments provoked several legislators to announce their intention to demand prosecutors launch an investigation into Mijango's activities. One official commented that Mijango appeared to possess information about the situation that was unavailable to anyone else. Congressman Guillermo Gallegos of the GANA party said, "A person who has knowledge, control, and knows how the gangs act, and says that in 72 hours homicides may drop is also in some way an accomplice." Mijango refuted the claims, saying the homicides were not part of a plan to blackmail the government.

After the truce came into force in March 2012, it led to a 41 percent drop in the country's homicide rate. However, police reported a renewed rise in the homicide rate for May and June 2013, and 56 homicides occurred in the first three days of July.

InSight Crime Analysis

Together with Bishop Fabio Colindres of the Catholic Church, Mijango played a key role in mediating the truce between the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18 street gangs, a central component of which was the improvement of prison conditions for gang leaders in exchange for decreased violence. If authorities were to launch an investigation into Mijango and his work as a mediator, this could severely undermine the peace process.

More worryingly, if, as Mijango suggests, the recent spate of homicides is not random but responsive, this could be taken as a sign that the gangs are willing to use the murder rate as a tool to gain leverage -- if their demands are met, the murder rate stays down; if they are not, it quickly rises. If this is the case, then it sets a dangerous precedent as it essentially allows the gangs to extract concessions from the government through the threat of a return to violence.

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

EL SALVADOR / 4 JAN 2018

When US President Donald Trump put the MS13 gang at the center of his domestic security narrative this year,…

COLOMBIA / 31 AUG 2015

A recent visit by El Salvador delegates to Colombia points to the limits of transferring Colombia's security strategies abroad.

COLOMBIA / 27 OCT 2017

Surrounded by several of his ministers, Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos announced October 21 that "9,000 police and…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…