San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

OAS evaluates gangs truce in El Salvador

SAN SALVADOR – OAS Secretary of Security Adam Blackwell met with Salvadoran officials Friday to discuss a gang truce agreed to in March that officials say has led to a decrease in violence in the Central American country.

Blackwell met with Foreign Minister Hugo Martínez to discuss maras (gangs) and the Central American Security Strategy, a plan outlined in June 2011 in Guatemala, Edith Portillo, a spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry, told AFP.

The regional strategy seeks to reduce high levels of violence caused by drug trafficking and gangs, especially in the Northern Triangle  countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Blackwell, who visited El Salvador in May to discuss the truce, is also scheduled to meet with Justice and Public Security Minister David Munguia and other officials.

According to official estimates, some 10,000 gang members are in prison in El Salvador and another 50,000 actively operate there.

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