The peace treaty between the MS-13 and the 18th Street gang in El Salvador completes 100 days on Tuesday. As a result of the truce, the country's homicide rate has dropped from approximately 13 per day down to around five. At the same time, it's not clear that other forms of crimes have changed much with conflict reports about increases in kidnappings, extortion, and disappearances.
Contrapunto has an interview with gang member "Baby" who says that the gang members really want to change as they want a better life for themselves and their families. El Nuevo Herald also has a piece on the 100 day truce.
What I think has been missing from much of the coverage of the truce is the recognition that it is not only the gangs that need to change. Sure, members of the MS-13 and 18th Street gangs need to stop killing, robbing, extorting, and the like. That's pretty obvious.
However, in the two stories linked to above there are repeated references to death squad-style killings of gang members and continued police harassment of gang members and their families (beatings just for fun). It's not going to be easy but for a long-lasting truce and a real transformation, ordinary Salvadorans and political and public security institutions will need to change.