As reported in April, the MS-13 and 18th Street Gang leaders agreed to stop killing civilians and fellow gang members. In return, the imprisoned gang leaders were provided with better prison conditions, including transfers and family visits. Since the initial truce, the gangs have also made commitments to refrain from recruiting minors and have designated schools as "safe zones".
For good reason, though, Salvadorans remain suspicious of the truce. The truce was negotiated in secret by a bishop and a former FMLN congressman. For the first few weeks, Mauricio Funes and members of his administration denied any complicity in the negotiations. It was only after the truce had held for a few weeks that the government admitted to a role. It's not entirely clear what the government "offered", other than improved prison conditions. While that might work for those currently imprisoned, there's a good chance that those on the outside will have less incentive to stick to the agreement made by those behind the prison walls.I wrote about the content of the post here on Friday where I mentioned some of the ways other actors need to change (Everybody gets a second chance in El Salvador).
The basic argument remains the same. It's going to take more than simply "the gang members need to change." US and Salvadoran economic, migration, and security polices contributed to the gang crisis in El Salvador and elsewhere. These policies need to change in order for there to be any lasting transformation in the situation in El Salvador.