Posts Tagged ‘gangs’

Central America: Northern Triangle countries are being militarized

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Repressive strategies led by former soldiers are the new norm in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador

[Translation of an article from ContraPunto of San Salvador for December 14, 2011. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

By Gerardo Arbaiza

The Central American Northern Triangle, consisting of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, has been found in several studies to be the most violent region of the world not involved in an armed conflict.

According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Honduras is in first place in the world in homicides, with a rate of 78 for every 100,000 inhabitants, followed by El Salvador with 66 and, three levels below, Guatemala, with a total of 41 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.

The World Health Organization considers a country to be in an epidemic when the rate of deaths from any cause reaches ten for every 100,000 inhabitants.

The strategy these countries have adopted recently to reduce these figures is directed at taking members of the armed forces and using them together with police forces for tasks of citizen security. (more…)

Mauricio Funes, president of El Salvador

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

“People will keep going to the US despite massacres”

Mauricio Funes — Reuters photo

[Translation of an article from El País of Madrid, Spain, for September 12, 2010. See original article here.]

by Pablo Ordaz

Fifty-year-old Mauricio Funes speaks without holding back. He assails equally the Right that ruled his country for two decades and the radical Left that raised him to the presidency of El Salvador a year ago. Despite the fact that his country continues to be mired in the deepest poverty and inequality, 74 percent of Salvadorans still trust him. This interview was conducted Friday in Mexico City, where he had gone to secure from President Felipe Calderón a commitment to fight together against organized crime.

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Question: After the killings in Tamaulipas, in which 13 of the 72 murdered immigrants were Salvadoran, you sent a letter to the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderón. What did you say? (more…)

El Salvador: The congressmen and the Bible

Saturday, July 10th, 2010

[Translation of an article from ContraPunto of El Salvador for July 5 concerning passage on July 1 of a bill to require that Salvadoran school children be read passages from the Bible for at least seven minutes at the beginning of every school day. The measure, supported by the Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (Arena, the former ruling party) and other rightist parties and opposed by the leftist Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional , received the votes of 45 members of the 84-member unicameral legislature. President Mauricio Funes initially supported the bill but said later he would consult religious leaders before deciding whether to sign it into law or veto it. As of this posting, he has yet to decide.]

by Julián González Torres

San Salvador – More than a century ago, Julio Interiano, secretary of public education, development and welfare, wrote in his report on efforts concerning primary education, “A school is a model of society. And society is heterogeneous; there is no uniformity of beliefs. The state, then, which recognizes the rights of all and guarantees the fullfillment of them, cannot teach the practice of any specific sect, much less of a number of them, nor can it instill dogmatic beliefs outside the domain of reason”… (more…)