Saturday, March 24, 2012

REUTERS: Gangs in crime-plagued El Salvador call a truce

REPORT: Rival gangs operating in El Salvador have called a truce as the Central American country confronts a plague of violent crime, according to a statement issued on Friday by the gangs and endorsed by local Roman Catholic church leaders.

The document, signed by representatives of the country's two most powerful gangs, Mara Salvatrucha and gang Mara 18, was delivered to various media and has been endorsed by the Salvadoran Catholic Church, local church leaders said.

Local media reports based on interviews with gang leaders say the truce began this week.

The gangs have been in a period of "reflection" since last year as they considered the toll of crime in the country, according to the statement.

Rising violence, much of it linked to local gangs, fueled a 9 percent jump in the country's murder rate last year.

According to data published by the United Nations, El Salvador has a homicide rate of 66 per 100,000 people, one of the highest in the world.



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