OAS Secretary to Evaluate the Gang Truce in El Salvador
By Dialogo August 30, 2012
The Secretary for Multi-Dimensional Security of the Organization of American States (OAS), Adam Blackwell, will arrive on August 31, in San Salvador, to evaluate a truce put in place since last March between two violent gangs in the country, informed AFP an official source.
“Mr. Blackwell is coming to evaluate how the truce is working out and to see if the established roadmap process is being followed,” the former guerrilla commander, Raúl Mijango, told AFP. Raúl, along with Military Chaplain, Fabio Colindres, is the mediator of the truce between the two gangs or Maras.
Mijango celebrated the “monitoring” that the OAS provides to the process of détente, or goodwill, after José Miguel Insulza, the Secretary General of the hemispheric organization, conducted a visit last July.
Blackwell has scheduled a meeting with the Minister of Security and Justice, General David Munguía.
It is the second time that Blackwell arrives in the country since last May, when he visited prisons where gang members are being held to observe the course of the unprecedented truce, according to officials; it reduced the average daily homicides from 14 to 5.5, whereupon the country ceased to rank as the second most violent nation in the world.
On July 12, the leaders of the feared Mara Salvatrucha gang (MS-13) and Barrio 18, delivered a list of demands to Secretary Insulza during a meeting held in a prison in the northern outskirts of San Salvador.
Insulza, who did not disclose the proposal, said on that occasion, that the OAS was going to give “all possible support” to the process of détente, or goodwill. On March 9, the leaders of both gangs agreed to a truce mediated by Colindres and Mijango.
On August 27, Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes, with members of the Civil Society, completed a series of meetings to design a comprehensive program to prevent young people from falling into the world of the Maras.
According to official estimates, some 10,000 gang members are in prison in different parts of the country in El Salvador, and another 50,000 are free.