Links around El Salvador

Some links from El Salvador that I found interesting in the last week. I would definitely read the first two Insight Crime translations. I love that they are translated more Central American articles than the used to. Thank you.

Promoter of Talks with El Salvador’s Gangs Loses Faith (Part 1)

The name “Raul Mijango” annoys a significant portion of society, but an undeniable fact remains: few people know Salvadoran gangs as well as him. The public face of El Salvador’s gang truce, in this interview says goodbye to his creation.  He blames the United States, Attorney General Luis Martinez, former Minister of Security Ricardo Perdomo, and the FMLN for destroying the truce. He also criticizes the lack of will among the gangs.

Promoter of Talks with El Salvador’s Gangs Loses Faith (Part 2)

Many believe that gang members cannot be “rehabilitated,” and use the truce as an example proving their argument because they used this moment of peace to gain territory, to consolidate their structures…

That is an argument of the critics, but it is not true.

That they didn’t win more territory?

No way! What the truce did was to expose a hidden truth.

The gangs were already what they are. But during the truce, especially in rural areas, they settled in places where before they did not have a presence.

It is not true. We held off recruitment, the gangs did not grow during that time. Income from crime and extortion went down a lot. We removed weapons…That they strengthened as a political actor, that I can agree with, because throughout that period they were obviously a political actor. But in the other respects what I feel the truce did was to expose (what they were already doing).

Arrest of El Salvador ‘Pastor’ Points to Gangs’ Social Integration

Prosecutors say the reverend organized religious gatherings in various neighborhoods of San Salvador in order to collect extortion money for the gang that was passed off as church donations. Authorities also seized two firearms from the pastor’s residence they believe belonged to the gang.

El Salvador Housing Plan Aims to Provide ‘Good Living’ for All

Providing proper housing is seen as central to ensuring a decent life for the people of El Salvador.

Up to 8,400 families will benefit from a mass investment plan to improve urban housing in El Salvador, President Salvador Sanchez Ceren announced Wednesday.

An estimated US$43 million will be put towards building new homes and improving existing urban neighborhoods, Ceren said during the launch of the National Policy on Housing, intended to improve living conditions for the country’s most impoverished.

The government’s objective is to ensure a “Good Living” for the entire population. Tackling the problem of housing is seen as one of the most important issues to achieve this aim.

Salvadoran Security Forces Cower at Booming Gang Numbers

Salvadoran gangs are waging war on the state, and they might be winning. One reason is the sheer size of these groups, colloquially known as maras. Gang members in El Salvador currently exceed the number of soldiers in the military and officers in the National Civil Police (PNC), according to government estimates.

El Salvador Congress approves tax package to fight violent crime

El Salvador’s Congress on Thursday approved new taxes on big companies and on phone and Internet usage in order to raise funds to strengthen the police and other security institutions in one of the world’s most violent countries.