Inmates inside the Cojutepeque prison which houses only members of the Barrio18 gang listen to a religious service being offered by Archbishop Fabio Colindres to praise the truce between the gangs.

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Inmates inside the Cojutepeque prison which houses only members of the Barrio18 gang listen to a religious service being offered by Archbishop Fabio Colindres to praise the truce between the gangs.

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Mother Jones


IN EL SALVADOR, A GANG TRUCE CAN'T STOP THE VIOLECE


It began with a trip back home, to a small town in the country’s western valley, to visit his dying grandmother. More than a decade after El Salvador’s bloody civil war had ended, Juan Carlos, a 38-year-old photojournalist, wanted to see how life had changed. Was his country, one of the most violent in the Western Hemisphere, better off after 12 years of war? Sure, there were shiny new roads and malls, but was the country any safer?


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El Diabolico leader of the Quezaltecos Locos a clique of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS) gang during a press conference was the first leader to openly ask kids not to join gangs during a press conference in the Quezaltepeque prison where members of both gangs MS and Barrio 18 held a press conference before declaring the city of Quezaltepeque as a sanctuary free of gang related violence.

“We apologize for our actions and mistakes…  I make the call to the youth not to get involved with gangs”


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El Diabolico leader of the Quezaltecos Locos a clique of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS) gang during a press conference was the first leader to openly ask kids not to join gangs during a press conference in the Quezaltepeque prison where members of both gangs MS and Barrio 18 held a press conference before declaring the city of Quezaltepeque as a sanctuary free of gang related violence.

“We apologize for our actions and mistakes…  I make the call to the youth not to get involved with gangs”


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Family members grief the death two men who were shot while having dinner, they died on their way to the hospital. These murders happened in a community which is controlled by the Mara Salvatrucha (MS). The murder rate has dropped from 14 to 6 per day since the truce, but police believes that many of these homicides are gang related.

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Family members grief the death two men who were shot while having dinner, they died on their way to the hospital. These murders happened in a community which is controlled by the Mara Salvatrucha (MS). The murder rate has dropped from 14 to 6 per day since the truce, but police believes that many of these homicides are gang related.

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The commencement of the first Anti-Gang Unit, the training of this specialized unit was already in process when the gangs truce between the two major gangs started.  Since, then the unit has been affective in capturing gang members many of them considered to be leaders and dangerous.

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The commencement of the first Anti-Gang Unit, the training of this specialized unit was already in process when the gangs truce between the two major gangs started.  Since, then the unit has been affective in capturing gang members many of them considered to be leaders and dangerous.

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One of the issues coming from the gangs leaders serving time is to improve the prison conditions because these are very harsh  in El Salvador; severed overcrowding, which leads to a lack of personal space, poor sanitary conditions, insufficient ventilation and deprivation of privacy, are just some of the major issues in all the prisons. According to a new report on hemispheric security released by the Organization of American States (OAS) El Salvador has one the most overcrowded prison system in the hemisphere. 

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One of the issues coming from the gangs leaders serving time is to improve the prison conditions because these are very harsh  in El Salvador; severed overcrowding, which leads to a lack of personal space, poor sanitary conditions, insufficient ventilation and deprivation of privacy, are just some of the major issues in all the prisons. According to a new report on hemispheric security released by the Organization of American States (OAS) El Salvador has one the most overcrowded prison system in the hemisphere. 

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Street vendors, small business owners are among the main targets for extortions solicited by gangs, who threaten to kill them if they do not pay.

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Street vendors, small business owners are among the main targets for extortions solicited by gangs, who threaten to kill them if they do not pay.

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A gang member carries a sack full of weapon at  the symbolic event where gang surrendered weapons to the OEA (Organization of the American States) general secretary  Jose Miguel Insulza and Bishop Fabio Colindres as part of the first phase of the truce between the gangs.

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A gang member carries a sack full of weapon at  the symbolic event where gang surrendered weapons to the OEA (Organization of the American States) general secretary  Jose Miguel Insulza and Bishop Fabio Colindres as part of the first phase of the truce between the gangs.

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Israel Ticas forensic criminologist takes a look at the bottom of a well were more than a dozen bodies are at the bottom. The victims of gang violence lived in or around the city of Turin in the western area do the country. It is believed that these type of methods including mass graves are used by gangs to cover up their murdered victims. 

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Israel Ticas forensic criminologist takes a look at the bottom of a well were more than a dozen bodies are at the bottom. The victims of gang violence lived in or around the city of Turin in the western area do the country. It is believed that these type of methods including mass graves are used by gangs to cover up their murdered victims. 

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A large black ribbon hangs fro the entrance of Centro America public school where 5 of its students went missing and were later found dead in a mass grave. The cases of students gone missing and later found dead has increased in the past year.

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A large black ribbon hangs fro the entrance of Centro America public school where 5 of its students went missing and were later found dead in a mass grave. The cases of students gone missing and later found dead has increased in the past year.

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Evangelical hold an outdoor prayer, the Protestant Christian is constantly trying to reach out to the youth involved int gang activity in their communities and inside the prisons. Religion has been a way gang members  trying to cope or deal with the hardships of daily life in the prisons or in their neighborhoods, thus accepting the evangelical beliers and values in order to help them abandoned the gang life and begin different life.

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Evangelical hold an outdoor prayer, the Protestant Christian is constantly trying to reach out to the youth involved int gang activity in their communities and inside the prisons. Religion has been a way gang members  trying to cope or deal with the hardships of daily life in the prisons or in their neighborhoods, thus accepting the evangelical beliers and values in order to help them abandoned the gang life and begin different life.

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