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After El Salvador Gang Truce Trial, 5 Doubts Remain

After El Salvador Gang Truce Trial, 5 Doubts Remain

Carlos Eduardo Burgos Nuila, alias "Nalo," is a leader of El Salvador's Barrio 18 Revolucionarios gang. He is currently confined to pretrial detention on charges of illicit association and has become Attorney General Douglas Meléndez's star witness in the trial for the so-called "Truce Case," in which 18 mid-level Salvadoran officials are accused of smuggling cell phones and other items into prisons, and of committing arbitrary acts within the framework of the pact between the Salvadoran state and the Barrio 18 and MS13 gangs between 2012 and 2013.

El Salvador to Extend 'Extraordinary' Anti-Gang Measures until 2018

El Salvador to Extend 'Extraordinary' Anti-Gang Measures until 2018

Officials in El Salvador agreed to extend "extraordinary measures" to fight organized crime despite doubts about their effectiveness and alleged threats to citizens' rights, raising questions about the motives for the government's decision.

Negotiations Between El Salvador Govt, MS13 Prove Elusive

Negotiations Between El Salvador Govt, MS13 Prove Elusive

The administration of El Salvador President Salvador Sánchez Cerén insists that it will not negotiate with the MS13 gang, which made a public proposal at the beginning of January that included its own dismantlement. The most recent signals coming from the government suggest that the proposal won't be taken seriously. Nonetheless, there are also indications that parallel attempts at dialogue could be made.

El Salvador Disappearances Down From Post-Gang Truce Peak

El Salvador Disappearances Down From Post-Gang Truce Peak

Newly reported statistics from El Salvador's National Civil Police indicate that disappearances have declined from a peak reached in 2014 after the dissolution of a controversial gang truce, raising questions about the relationship between the truce and the rate of disappearances.

Case Against El Salvador’s MS13 Reveals State Role in Gang’s Growth

Case Against El Salvador’s MS13 Reveals State Role in Gang’s Growth

A massive operation that has bared the finances of El Salvador’s Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) gang offers compelling evidence of a long suspected theory: government benefits extended to the country’s gang leaders in connection with a 2012-2013 truce were used to strengthen their criminal organizations. 

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.