Although a delicate truce between the MS-13 and 18th Street gangs has held for a year, 70 percent of Salvadorans say the gangs' word can't be trusted.
North Korea’s nuclear weapons test explosion underscores the need for stronger US leadership to prevent the testing, spread, and use of the world’s most dangerous weapons. US ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty would set a clear international standard.
The Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 gangs agreed to hand over weapons and stop homicides, kidnapping, and extortion in four 'peace zone' municipalities as part of El Salvador's national gang truce.
Attributed, in part, to an evolution away from hardline 'iron fist' policy approaches to crime and violence, El Salvador and Guatemala saw homicides fall in 2012 from record highs.
In combating the MS-13 gang, the Obama administration should look to El Salvador, which has adopted a far less confrontational approach, and is seeing a drop in gang violence as a result. A negotiated 'truce' with gangs is possible in the US and Mexico.