AMERICA/EL SALVADOR - The truce on behalf of armed gangs, an example to stop violence in the Central American area

Monday, 4 June 2012

San Salvador (Agenzia Fides) –It depends on the Church in every country to try to bring forward the mediation between gangs, which together with drug traffickers and other criminal groups have exacerbated the violence in the region: this is the Archbishop of San Salvador, His Exc. Mgr. José Luis Escobar Alas’ opinion, expressed in his usual press conference on Sunday, during which he also clarified that the Salvadoran Church does not withdraw from mediation to the "truce" between the Mara Salvatrucha (MS) and Mara 18 ( M18), initiated by the castrense Bishop, Monsignor Fabio Colindres. "Maybe I was not very precise, two weeks ago, when I said that the Church withdrew from the process," stated the Archbishop. On May 20, in fact, the Archbishop said that "the Church has done its job, and its moment has come to an end", but, as he explained yesterday, "I was referring to the leading role in taking the first step, now it is up to the government and the rest of society. "
On the possibility that the example of the Salvadoran "truce" can be extended to the entire region, the Archbishop said: "It is likely that the Bishops of Central American countries want to do something similar to what the Church has done in El Salvador" But the Church of El Salvador has no authority to ask the Bishops to promote a "truce" between the members of the gangs, however, "if we are asked for information about it, with great pleasure we will give it to them." The Archbishop anticipated that this will be an issue to bring to the Annual Meeting of Bishops of Central America to be held in the third week of November in Panama: "I am sure we are going to touch this subject because we do not only talk about spiritual matters, but there are also social problems."
The truce between the gangs (see Fides 28/03/2012), which began in March, has lowered the daily average of murders from 14 to 5, as reported by the Salvadorian authorities. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 04/06/2012)