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Practice Briefing

Youth Violence in Central America: Lessons Learned from the Truce Process between Youth Gangs in El Salvador

Events

Youth Violence in Central America: Lessons learned from the Truce process between youth gangs in El Salvador

Date & time: Wednesday, 09 October 2013, 12:30 - 14:00.

Location: Sergio Vieira de Mello Auditorium, Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), 2nd floor, WMO/OMM Building, Avenue de la Paix 7bis.

Registration: Please register at www.gpplatform.ch. You must register for this event and bring a passport or photo ID to enter the venue.

 

Background

El Salvador ranks among the most violent countries in the world with an impunity rate of 98%. As in several other States of the Northern part of Central America, young people are caught in the midst of this spiral of violence both as perpetrators and as victims of such crimes. Too often, the sense of hopelessness due to a lack of opportunities provokes young people to turn to gangs and illicit economies as alternative sources of stability and livelihood.

On 8 March 2012, leaders of the two main gangs operating in El Salvador, MS-13 and Barrio 18, called a truce, agreeing to a cessation of hostilities and pledging to reduce their criminal activity (particularly murders). In exchange for this, they wanted a guarantee of their own rights and an improvement in the living conditions of gang members in jail. Several days later (on 21 March), it was announced publicly that a representative of the Catholic Church, Monsignor Fabio Colindres, and an ex-guerrilla commander and former deputy to the Congress of the Republic, Raul Mijango, were working as facilitators/mediators in the negotiation between the gangs.

The purpose of the meeting is to exchange views on the Central American public policies related to violence as illustrated by the case of El Salvador, and on how to tackle violence-related problems in non-traditional context. 

Speakers:

Welcome by the Moderator: Scott Weber, Director-General of Interpeace

Violence and public policy in Central America: The case of El Salvador, Isabel Aguilar Umaña, Director of Interpeace Youth Programme in Central America 

Understanding the Truce in El Salvador, Raul Mijango, Truce Facilitator in El Salvador

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