AMERICA/EL SALVADOR - Religious leaders ask the UN to mediate between the government and gangs

Thursday, 26 January 2017 armed groups   politics   violence  

San Salvador (Agenzia Fides) - Lutheran Bishop Medardo Gomez told the press that the leaders of the Lutheran and Evangelical Churches of El Salvador will ask the United Nations to mediate between the Salvadoran government and the gangs in order to launch a "peace process " in the country.
He also said they are in contact with the Mara Salvatrucha gang through family members: "The families of these young people attend our churches, belong to our Christian communities, their mothers, wives and families have told us that they support us in order to succeed in this dialogue among gangs".
A few days ago (see Fides 16/01/2017 and 23/01/2017) His Exc. Mgr. Rosa Chavez had declared that the Catholic Church is ready to support a dialogue between the authorities and the gangs, only if its participation is asked and if there are favorable conditions of mutual trust and always in the context of established norms. However, government authorities claim that they will not dialogue with criminals. The director of the National Civil Police, Howard Cotto, added that this is just a strategy, "a strategy of criminal gangs, to give the media the impression that they are the victims instead of criminals instigators".
This is what the Vice-President of the Republic, Oscar Ortiz also said: "The government does not negotiate with gangs. The country has only a proposal for those who want to intimidate or blackmail the population, that is, renounce crime. There is no other way, and the state will do everything possible to win this battle, it will cost us a lot but we will win". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 26/01/2017)


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