A series of videos showing officials from President Salvador Sánchez Cerén's administration holding secret negotiations with the country's principal street gangs prior to taking power have called into question the ruling FMLN's motives for talking to the gangs in the first place. Were they seeking an end to the gang wars or was it a way to prepare what has become a massive government offensive against them?
El Salvador's three main gangs have reportedly joined forces to carry out strategic assassinations against public officials, which if true would mark a troubling development in the gangs' conflict with the state.
El Salvador's Attorney General indicated that his office may investigate the recently revealed meetings between two high-level government officials and gang leaders, raising the question of how prosecutors will proceed in a case fraught with political implications.
Two videos reveal another layer of secret negotiations between El Salvador’s ruling party, the FMLN, and leaders of the three main gangs in El Salvador. One involves the former Minister of Public Security, Benito Lara, and another is with current Interior Minister Aristides Valencia, in which the latter offers the gang leaders up to $10 million in micro-credit.