The Democracy Journal
Search Site
Get Involved
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    Support the PJRC

    Support the PJRC for continued original analysis on ending the wars, funding domestic priorities and preserving civil liberties.

    Make a contribution to benefit the PJRC now! 

    Conferences & Events

    Tom Hayden speaks in Port Huron, MI, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Port Huron Statement.

    Invite Tom Hayden to speak in your town! 



    Follow Tom


    Contact Us
    This form does not yet contain any fields.

      Salvadoran Gang Truce Holds, Saving 2,000 Lives

      Dr. Paule Cruz Takash, left, of the City of Los Angeles Human Relations Commission, speaks with Tom Hayden, center, at the May 2012 Los Angeles press conference in support of the peace process in El Salvador. (Photo: Wesley Saver)

      The Salvadoran gang peace process, launched 13 months ago in El Salvador’s overcrowded prison system, continues to result in dramatic reductions of homicides. According to The Economist, 2,000 lives already have been saved. Since this past January, five communities have been declared as “peace zones” where gangs are attempting to end murders and extortion while government agencies create jobs.

      The government headed by Mauricio Funes is promising $72 million (US) for the peace zones, and forty local mayors have expressed their support and interest. The Salvadoran murder rate fell by more than half last year, a violence reduction attributed to the truce. Efforts to instigate a peace process go back as far as the Nineties, and have involved transnational networks such as Homies Unidos.

      While the process centers on agreements by gang members to end their fratricidal killings and mayhem, the effort has won key support from the Catholic Archdiocese, former guerrillas who ended the country’s bloody civil wars, and a global network of social justice organizations. El Salvador’s security minister emphasizes that gang members are sill being arrested for crimes they commit – like robberies – and the state is building a 500-member anti-gang police unit. The difference is that “we are leaving doors open” for youths seeking rehabilitation, training, jobs and alternative futures.

      PrintView Printer Friendly Version

      EmailEmail Article to Friend