El Salvador: Gangs Back Plan for Violence-Free Districts / Edgardo Ayala

Salvadoran youth gang leaders have accepted a proposal to declare 10 municipalities free of violence – a bold plan that has run up against the mistrust of vast segments of society with regard to the gangs and their aim of reinsertion in society.

“We want to eradicate all illegal activities and have a better relationship with the community,” Carlos Mojica, alias “El Viejo Lin”, the leader of one of the two factions of the Barrio 18 gang, told IPS.

The initiative launched by the mediators of the peace process between the gangs and the government, former guerrilla fighter Raúl Mijango and Catholic bishop Fabio Colindres, was publicly accepted on Dec. 4 by the heads of the Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), the two main gangs in El Salvador, and later by smaller groups like Máquina, Mao Mao and Mirada Locos, according to a communique. SEE MORE…

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