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El Salvador Govt Turns Blind Eye to Its Own Deals with Gangs

El Salvador Govt Turns Blind Eye to Its Own Deals with Gangs

El Salvador's government is attempting to legally bury any remnant of an old, officially-mediated truce between the country's two biggest gangs, seemingly oblivious to its own dealings with the MS13 and Barrio 18.

El Salvador Arrests Officials As Gang Truce Investigation Escalates

El Salvador Arrests Officials As Gang Truce Investigation Escalates

Authorities in El Salvador have arrested public officials and mediators accused of acting illegally to facilitate a controversial and now defunct gang truce, raising the question of how far -- and how high -- the investigation into the deal will go. 

Criminal Truces in Latin America: The Ultimate Catch-22

Criminal Truces in Latin America: The Ultimate Catch-22

A recent report examining the effect of criminal truces in Latin America is both promising and discouraging; although we have the tools to bring a measure of peace to the underworld, they are hard for most governments to swallow and can lead to even more violence down the road. 

El Salvador Reforms Classify Gangs as Terrorists, Criminalize Negotiation

El Salvador Reforms Classify Gangs as Terrorists, Criminalize Negotiation

Legislators in El Salvador have passed anti-gang reform measures that establish new crimes, prohibit negotiation with criminals, and classify gangs as terrorist organizations as the government doubles down on hardline security policies. 

Standoff Between Gangs, Government Deepens in El Salvador

Standoff Between Gangs, Government Deepens in El Salvador

El Salvador's government is pushing ahead with measures to get tough on gangs despite a drop in killings over the past few days ordered by gang leaders in an attempt to head off the crackdown, setting the stage for yet another tense standoff in the violence-plagued nation.

Whether it is sustainable or not, the truce -- which the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the Barrio 18 put into place March 2012 -- has changed the conventional thinking about who the gangs are and what is the best way to handle the most difficult law and order issue in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.