HomeNewsBriefNext Phase of Salvador Gang Truce: Peace Zones
BRIEF

Next Phase of Salvador Gang Truce: Peace Zones

BARRIO 18 / 23 NOV 2012 BY HANNAH STONE EN

The negotiators of El Salvador’s gang truce, which has reduced murders by two-thirds in the last eight months, have proposed a second phase which would aim to end all gang crimes, including extortion, in designated “zones of peace.”

On November 22, negotiators Bishop Fabio Colindres and ex-congressman Raul Mijango announced their proposal for the next phase of the gang truce (read the full text of their proposal here).

They said that despite the drop in murders, Salvadorans still suffered from extortion and from the general atmosphere of insecurity. To address this, the negotiators suggested naming certain municipalities as “special zones of peace,” where gangs would make a pact of non-aggression with each other, and agree to stop all extortion, kidnapping, theft, and murder.

In these areas, gang members would hand in their weapons, and the police would cease large scale or night-time operations, while the government would put into place schemes to give work to gang members who leave crime behind.

The negotiators also asked the government to prioritize mental health services in these peace zones. They said that they had selected 10 municipalities where the scheme would begin, before being rolled out throughout the country, reported El Mundo.

InSight Crime Analysis

The plan to cut extortion and other crimes that affect the population in El Salvador is the logical next step of the truce between the country’s main gangs, the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18, which was brokered in March. While murders have been slashed by two-thirds, reports vary on whether extortion has decreased or has even gone up since then. Extortion is thought to be the primary source of income for these gangs, meaning that to make these “peace zones” work would likely require serious concessions from the government in return.

The announcement was made at a press conference to present the report on the first year in office of Security and Justice Minister David Munguia Payes, who was the driving force behind the truce. He promised at the beginning of his term that he would reduce homicides by 30 percent in his first year, and has delivered a reduction of double that amount, putting him in a good position if he wishes to run for the presidency or vice presidency in the 2014 elections.

Munguia greeted the proposal by saying that he viewed it with optimism and that the government would help “facilitate” the measures, while stressing that it does not negotiate with gangs.

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 / 13 DEC 2016

In El Salvador, extortion demanded by gangs has become so normalized that there is a bus company that…

BARRIO 18 / 5 OCT 2011

El Salvador is suffering a new wave of disappearances, mostly of young people and teenagers, who go missing without…

EL SALVADOR / 14 JAN 2016

In a concerning development for press freedom in El Salvador, a top police official has called for the investigation of…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.