HomeNewsBriefMexico Govt Announces Guadalajara Gang Truce
BRIEF

Mexico Govt Announces Guadalajara Gang Truce

MEXICO / 18 MAR 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Rival street gangs in central Mexico have reportedly agreed to a government-brokered truce, an encouraging sign given the growing role of local street gangs in the country's violence.

In the city of Guadalajara, 12 competing street gangs have agreed to end inter-gang violence after participating in a government-run reintegration program that encourages cultural and artistic projects, reported El Occidental.

According to Guadalajara Secretary of Citizen Security Carlos Mercado, the gangs signed a peace accord among themselves after completing the Attention to At-Risk Youth (Atencion a Jovenes en Riesgo) program, which aims to encourage gang members to work on collective projects with their rivals.

However, when Milenio tracked down members of one of the gangs invovolved, the youths said they continued to fight and were unaware of the truce.

Guadalajara gangs included in the project thus far come from city neighborhoods Oblatos, El Zalate, Miravalle and Lomas del Paraiso, which are the city government's four priority areas for social development projects. There an estimated 200 gangs in Guadalajara.

InSight Crime Analysis

Jalisco was listed among the seven most violent states in Mexico in a December 2012 report by consulting firm Lantia Consultores, and street gangs are among the actors responsible for the high level of violence, according to an August 2012 report by Southern Pulse, underlining the importance of measures to tackle these groups.

The idea of gang truces brokered by the authorities is gaining traction across the region in the wake of one brokered in El Salvador between its main street gangs MS-13 and Barrio 18. Guatemalan and Honduran authorities have also indicated their interest in the idea.

However, while the El Salvador truce has led to a sharp drop in the country’s homicide rate, it has been undermined by reports of increased "disappearances" by gang members and a rise in murders in early 2013. A 2011 Belize gang truce followed a similar trend, with an initial drop in the homicide rate undermined by a later set of killings.

The truce has also been criticized for allowing the gangs breathing space to expand their operations.

The Guadalajara truce is unlikely to achieve results comparable to those in El Salvador. While the street gangs in El Salvador are huge organizations with thousands of members and a relatively hierarchical structure, the criminal landscape in cities like Guadalajara is of hundreds of small gangs, which, although often used by larger criminal players, remain independent. To negotiate and maintain a truce that includes all these gangs would be a near impossible task. 

Nevertheless, initiatives such as the one in Guadalajara at least offer an alternative to a purely repressive approach to tackling street gangs in a country where they have been tipped to eventually replace the big cartels as the main actors in Mexico’s violent drug trade.

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.

Tags

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

FEATURED / 6 OCT 2021

It was so simple once. The Gulf Cartel and its ancestors maintained control of Tamaulipas for eight decades.

JALISCO CARTEL / 11 JUL 2022

Despite Mexico ranking as the second-most devout Catholic country on the planet, clerics have found no salvation from extortion, beatings…

ELITES AND CRIME / 12 MAY 2021

Time appears to be running out for the governor of the US-Mexico border state of Tamaulipas – after lawmakers stripped…

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…