On the north side of the Honduran capital, nine poor neighbourhoods are rewriting their future, amidst the violence and insecurity that plague them as “hot spots” ruled by “maras” or gangs.
The upcoming municipal and legislative elections in March and the hiring of former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani as a kind of anti-crime tzar are not the best equation for bringing down El Salvador’s high murder rate, analysts say.
United by grief and anxiety, the grandmothers, mothers and other relatives of people who disappeared on the migration route to the United States formed a committee in this city in northern Honduras to search for their missing loved ones.
When left-wing president-elect Salvador Sánchez Cerén takes office in El Salvador on Jun. 1, he will find big cracks in the truce between street gangs brokered by the outgoing administration, which has brought crime rates down in the past two years.
El Salvador has managed to bring down one of the world’s highest murder rates thanks to a truce between gangs that was lauded by the United Nations as an example to be followed in other countries of Central America.
The two main youth gangs in El Salvador and the government have exchanged the main points they would like to discuss in talks aimed at bringing to an end to two decades of spiraling criminal violence. But the media, legislators and the public at large remain hostile to the possible start of negotiations.