San Pedro Sula (Agenzia Fides) - "We are in a process of recovery of the respect for life, we are listening to both gangs, but the government has not yet given an answer," said Mgr. Romulo Emiliani Sánchez, C.M.F Auxiliary Bishop of San Pedro Sula to a local radio station, announcing the start of a dialogue with the main criminal gangs in Honduras, to reach a truce similar to that in force in El Salvador.
Mgr. Emiliani works in the northern city of San Pedro Sula, the second of the Country where the reality of prisons is very hard (see Fides 12/09/2012).
The two gangs are the Mara Salvatrucha (MS) and the "18" gang, which, thanks to the mediation efforts made so far, have recognized that people who commit crimes, must pay with penalties handed down by the courts. The Bishop has admitted that the government is reluctant to talking to the gangs, but "we have the example of countries such as El Salvador, Guatemala and Colombia," where authorities have negotiated with the guerrillas to promote peace.
Mgr. Emiliani pointed out that the peace efforts, which have just begun, will last a long time because "it is a difficult path, whose results will be seen in two generations time."
Among the gestures that the gangs have offered to demonstrate the interest of the truce, there is the gift of sixty wooden benches, built by their members in prison, to a school in a poor neighborhood of San Pedro Sula. The two gangs are formed mainly by young people who are extremely poor, without access to decent work, education and other benefits of society. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 03/05/2013)