Gang Truce is One Year Old. Can there be Lasting Peace?
Two of El Salvador’s major gangs—Barrio 18 and MS-13—committed to a truce a year ago. The potential for lasting peace remains, but gang-related violence and unrest persist. The assassination of Geovanni Morales on last week highlights this reality. On March 6th, two assailants murdered Morales outside the church of San Francisco de Asis, where he worked with the Passionist Social Service (SSPAS) in the Mejicanos suburb of San Salvador. As his family, including two children, mourns his death, so does the community working towards an end to gang-related violence.
Geovanni Morales went through rehabilitation processes with SSPAS and then worked as the coordinator of the reinsertion program, which helps other young adults and youth break free from gangs and integrate into society. We attended a forum in October 2012 during which Morales discussed the gang truce.