Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

12/27/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Peace plane initiated by former guerrilla fighter and Catholic bishop

Criminal youth gangs run rife in El Salvador - it's estimated that at least 60,000 young people belong to gangs or "maras." These groups offer a sense of belonging to counter the lack of education and employment offered there. Gang leaders have now initiated a bold plan to end violence among the warring factions there. 

The maras offer a sense of belonging to counter the lack of education and employment offered in El Salvador.

The maras offer a sense of belonging to counter the lack of education and employment offered in El Salvador.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/27/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: El Salvador, peace plan, youth gangs, ceasefire, cities, unemployment


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Salvadoran youth gangs have accepted a proposal to declare 10 municipalities free of violence. It's seen as a highly bold move as mistrust runs rampant among the neighborhood gangs here. 

"We want to eradicate all illegal activities and have a better relationship with the community," Carlos Mojica, gang leader of one of the two factions of the Barrio 18 gang tells IPS.

The two men behind this initiative are former guerrilla fighter Raúl Mijango and Catholic bishop Fabio Colindres. The proposal was accepted earlier this month by the leaders of the Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), the two main gangs in El Salvador. Smaller groups like Máquina, Mao Mao and Mirada Locos have since picked up the torch.

El Salvador's population is set at 6.2 million people. Unemployment stands at 10.7 percent among young people between the ages of 16 and 29, 6.1 percentage points higher than the rate among economically active people over 30.

Maras in local organized crime has grown to the point that the U.S. Treasury Department officially designated the MS-13 a transnational criminal organization.

Under the new initiative, the members of the maras promised not to commit crimes in 10 violence-ridden municipalities. They also intend to hand their guns over to the authorities to prove that their intentions are sincere.

Once crime rates go down in the 10 districts in question, the idea would be to expand the plan to other cities, and eventually, across the country.

The names of the 10 municipalities have not yet been revealed to the government or the media, apparently to avoid putting media pressure on the local authorities in those districts.

"We want to gradually put an end to some things, but it can't be done on a large scale, because others parts of society aren't ready to do it yet," Borromeo Henríquez one of the heads of the Mara Salvatrucha gang says.

Under the proposal, the gangs would work with non-governmental organizations, churches, the center-left government of Mauricio Funes, and local mayors, to create the conditions necessary for the social reinsertion of gang members.

A version of this story was first published by Inter Press Service news agency.

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Americas

'Chop-up houses' fill night air with cries of the slaughtered along Colombian riverbanks Watch

Image of Buenaventura, home to 370,000 people, is a key smuggling point for cocaine being transported by sea and overland through Central America and Mexico en route to the United States.

By Anastasia Moloney, Thomson Reuters Foundation

At night along the riverbanks of the Colombian port city of Buenaventura, residents say they can hear people scream and plea for mercy as they are cut up with chainsaws. BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Gang members have been seen emerging from so-called ... continue reading


Our Lady of Guadalupe: The Woman Who Casts a Shadow Watch

Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe

By Deal W. Hudson

Having never been to a major Marian shrine, I didn't quite know what to expect. Some years ago, in the summer of 2004, I made a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. I went there, like other pilgrims, to ask for Her protection during a ... continue reading


Crazed Greenpeace activists destroy ancient Nazca lines - Peru outraged over Greenpeace publicity stunt Watch

Image of Greenpeace activists destroyed part of the ancient Nazca hummingbird, during a publicity stunt on December 8.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Peru has announced that they are going to file a lawsuit against Greenpeace, whose activists damaged a national monument during a publicity stunt. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The world famous Nazca lines were damaged after members of the group unfurled ... continue reading


Read the scathing words president of Uruguay has for Obama as six prisoners from Guantanamo Bay are sent to Uruguay Watch

Image of Uruguayan President Jose Mujica, who will leave office shortly, has made it clear that Uruguay would not hold or restrict the six Guantanamo detainees.

By Troy Dredge, Catholic Online

As part of the Obama White House's plan to finally shutter the holding tank for terrorist suspects, six suspected Al Qaeda militants are will sent from Guantanamo Bay to Uruguay. All six prisoners have been cleared for release since 2009. The United States has ... continue reading


Mexican church survives EIGHT YEARS of volcanic eruptions while surrounding town destroyed Watch

Image of The haunting images show a stark contrast between the barren ground and the holy building.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the small Mexican village of San Juan Parangaricutiro is completely buried under lava -- save for its church. The volcano in question, Volcán de Parícutin, erupted for eight straight years beginning in 1943. Is it an Act of God . or just superior ... continue reading


'I am ready to die, 'Honduran priest says of his human rights' work Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Keenly aware of the fate of his predecessor, radio marketing director Carlos Mejia Orellana stabbing death, Father Ismael Moreno says his human rights work in Honduras will continue - unabated. With Orellana's murder still unsolved seven months later, Father ... continue reading


43 Mexican students BURNED ALIVE over fears they would interrupt speech Watch

Image of The 43 students had been missing since they disappeared near the southern city of Iguala on September 26 after being attacked by police.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In dry, unemotional voices, three cartel hit men reenacted the horrific massacre of 43 Mexican students for investigators. Using twigs and trash bags, the killers told investigators how they layered the victims "like a grill" before bathing them in gasoline and ... continue reading


Illegal abortions fifth leading cause of maternal deaths in Brazil Watch

Image of An independent study by the Social Medicine Institute at Rio de Janeiro's State University showed that 155,000 women were admitted to public hospitals suffering from complications from self-induced abortions in 2013.

By Adriana Brasileiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation

On Aug. 26, Jandira Magdalena dos Santos Cruz, 27, got into a white car at a bus station in the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. She was supposed to be taken to a clandestine abortion clinic to terminate a 16-week pregnancy. She never came home. RIO DE JANEIRO ... continue reading


If you think ISIS is bad, just look at what's going on in Mexico Watch

Image of Those who speak out against the Mexican drug cartels often find themselves attacked, abused, or even murdered.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While the world-and especially the United States-remains fixated on the brutal actions and conquests of the Islamic State, few are looking closer to home to see such brutality, sometimes on a larger and more horrifying scale. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Worst drought in years: São Paulo may run out of water by next month Watch

Image of One of the causes of the Brazilian drought crisis may be more than 2,000 kilometers away, in the growing deforested areas in the Amazon region.

By Adriana Brasileiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation

South America's biggest and wealthiest city may run out of water by mid-November if it doesn't rain soon. SAO PAULO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - São Paulo, a Brazilian megacity of 20 million people, is suffering its worst drought in at least 80 years, with key ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 18th, 2014 Image

St. Rufus
December 18: Rufus and Zosimus were citizens of Antioch (or perhaps Philippi) ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter