HomeNewsBriefHonduran Gangs May Replicate El Salvador Truce
BRIEF

Honduran Gangs May Replicate El Salvador Truce

BARRIO 18 / 27 MAY 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

The MS-13 and Barrio 18 street gangs in Honduras may be set to declare their own version of the El Salvador gang truce, although they admit it is unlikely to have the same impact in reducing the country’s murder rate.

According to the Bishop of San Pedro Sula, Romulo Emiliani, on May 28th gang leaders will make a declaration of peace and announce their intention to seek “reconciliation” with the Honduran government and society.

However, Emiliani added the gang leaders have already warned that a truce would not necessarily lead to the sort of drop in murder rate witnessed in El Salvador — where the truce has led to 45 percent less murders. “They say that in Honduras there are a lot of murders that are not caused by them,” he said.

In an interview with Canal 3, one incarcerated Barrio 18 leader confirmed the gangs are ready to negotiate and called on President Porfirio Lobo to name a commission to facilitate talks.

The Ambassador for Security Affairs of the Organization of American States (OAS), Adam Blackwell, said dialogue with the gangs has been going on for eight months, and began after he and Emiliani visited leaders in prison, reported the AP.

InSight Crime Analysis

While the El Salvador gang truce has proven controversial, and doubts remain over its sustainability and whether it has truly been as successful as is claimed, there can be no doubt it has led to a dramatic drop in the murder rate.

Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world and any attempt to replicate this success and regain control over the spiraling violence of recent years should be welcomed.

However, even if negotiations are successful, a truce is unlikely to match the results seen in El Salvador. The street gangs — known as “maras” — are less centralized in Honduras and it will be much more difficult for the leadership to assert their control over local factions.

It is also possible, as Emiliani points out, that the Honduran maras are not responsible for such a high percentage of murders as their Salvadoran counterparts, as while the gangs undoubtedly play a major part in driving violence, they are far from the only criminal actors in Honduras.

There is also the role of the security forces to consider. Corrupt factions of the police and military are sometimes behind some of the criminal violence, and the police have been accused of running death squads targeting gang members, which will make it difficult for the gangs and police to build trust and keep the peace.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

EL SALVADOR / 24 JUL 2015

El Salvador's Ministry of Security has proposed new prison reform legislation to limit extortion and better control prisoner contact with…

HONDURAS / 27 MAR 2012

A group of 30 gunmen ambushed a Honduran military convoy, wounding five soldiers, in the northern province of Colon.

EXTORTION / 31 AUG 2016

Honduras' private sector is calling for police to step up action against extortion in response to a series of aggressive…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…