Take Two for May 23, 2013

El Salvador gangs say Supreme Court ruling could threaten truce

EL SALVADOR-MS13 -18 ST-GANGS

AFP/AFP/Getty Images

Members of Mara Salvatrucha (MS13), held on Monday, March 4, 2013, in the Criminal Center of Ciudad Barrios, San Miguel, 160 km east of San Salvador, after one year of cessation of the violence between the rivalry of two large gangs in El Salvador, MS13 and 18 st. El Salvador, a small country of six million people, is brimming with an estimated 50,000 street gang members, plus another 10,000 who are behind bars. Since the first truce took effect about a year ago, the average daily death toll from gang-related violence has gone down from 14 to five.

The truce between the MS-13 and 18th Street gangs in El Salvador has held since March 2012. The truce has significantly reduced violence in the country, but a recent decision by the Supreme Court could undermine the agreement.

The Constitutional Chamber of the Salvadorean Supreme Court ruled that the appointment of Security Minister David Mungia Payes was illegal. Payes is one of the main architects of the truce. 

Tom Wainwright of The Economist joins the show with the latest events and what effect they might have.


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