If you’re in need of some good news, check out Aaron McCarroll Gallegos’ Sojourners magazine commentary “From ‘Iron Fist’ to Hand of Peace” (from the November 2012 issue). The author tells the story of the remarkable truce between El Salvador’s most notorious gangs, the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18.
The Transnational Advisory Group in Support of the Peace Process in El Salvador (TAGSPPES), which helped broker the truce, recently released a report called “A Window of Hope: El Salvador's Opportunity to Address History of Violence.”
According to TAGSPPES, the six-month-long truce has already led to a 70 percent reduction in homicides. While the truce is a precarious peace at best, it provides an opening for growth and healing in El Salvador: “The space opened by the truce is an historic opportunity that cannot be squandered or El Salvador risks maintaining its status as one of the poorest and most violent places in the world into the foreseeable future.”
The report outlines the advisory group’s findings and recommendations to help reduce gang violence and bring reconciliation to El Salvador. Read the full report here.