Oh no, not another gangs and the church article

edited December 2018 in Other Political Debate
My typical response is oh no, not another gangs and the Church article from El Salvador. However, Danny Gold put together a really good article on The Redemption of MS-13 for The Pulitzer Center. The title is misleading as it focuses on the relatively small number of Salvadoran gang members who have successfully desisted from gangs, rather than redemption of the organization itself. The article is also very similar to Danielle Mackey's A Boundless Battlefield for the Intercept.

One of the few ways that gang members desist from gangs is through the Church. However, it is not always clear what getting out means, more specifically whether getting out is permanent. One can be called back to duty if gang leaders wish it to be so. There is also the fact that, for a variety of reasons, one is still at risk of torture or death from one's own gang, other gangs, police and security forces, and clandestine groups. Once a gang member, always a gang member. Life is hard for Salvadorans in general, even more so for former gang members often shunned by families, employers, the state, and society at large.

For an academic look inside Salvadoran gangs I highly recommend recent articles from Jonathan Rosen and Jose Miguel Cruz on Overcoming Stigma and Discrimination: Challenges for Reinsertion of Gang Members in Developing Countries and Rethinking the Mechanisms of Gang Desistance in a Developing Country. Greg Weeks also interviewed Jonathan recently for his podcast.
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