Early this year, authorities in El Salvador facilitated a truce between the country’s two largest street gangs, MS-13 and 18th Street. Homicide rates in El Salvador have dropped dramatically as a result, and the truce, to the surprise of some observers, has lasted nearly six months. Details about the dialogue between the two gangs and about the discussions between imprisoned gang leaders and government authorities are unclear. Many questions have been raised about the truce. There are concerns about its sustainability and about how to take advantage of the drop in violence.
This discussion seeks to contribute to a more informed understanding of the truce and the issues around it, and to help think how to sustain and support the reduction in violence. There will be a presentation by and discussion with the Transnational Advisory Group in Support of the Peace Process in El Salvador (TAGSPPES). Please join us to hear an important perspective on the Salvador gang truce. We expect the discussion to be interesting and informative.
- Luis Cardona, Coordinator, TAGSPPES (Washington DC)
- Juan Pacheco, East Coast Representative for Barrios Unidos, East Coast Chapter (Washington DC)
- Carmen Perez, Executive Director, The Gathering for Justice (New York)
- Steve Vigil, International Consultant, Conflict Mitigation and Development, (New York)
- Mauricio Lopez, Gang Prevention & Intervention, Columbia Heights Shaw Family Support Collaborative (Washington DC)
TAGSPPES is a multidisciplinary coalition of individuals and groups with extensive experience working in Salvadoran diaspora communities in the United States. The group traveled to El Salvador from July 20 – 27 this year and conducted in depth, in-person interviews with imprisoned and community leaders of MS-13 and 18th Street gangs, with truce negotiators, key government entities, and various civil society stakeholders. TAGSPESS recently released a report on the trip analyzing the situation and the potential for the truce to grow into a fuller peace process encompassing all aspects of Salvadoran society.
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