Interpeace and the Organization of American States form partnership to promote peace
December 20, 2013
Interpeace and the Organization of American States (OAS) signed a memorandum of understanding that will help the two organizations work together to promote peace and security in Central America. They plan to collaborate on activities and programmes that promote public security and strengthen national processes in the region.
Working together for impact
Last year, the two major gangs of El Salvador, Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18, established a truce banning aggression between gang members and discouraging the use of violence against security forces of the state. Since the truce in 2012, homicide rates have declined nearly 60%, and an estimated 4,500 Salvadoran deaths have been prevented. Of the 262 municipalities in the country, 11 of the most violent towns have now been declared violence free zones.
During the memorandum signing ceremony, OAS Secretary-General José Miguel Insulza highlighted Interpeace’s efforts in helping to make the gang truce sustainable and extending it throughout neighboring municipalities. He stressed that Interpeace’s efforts in the region have encouraged “broader and more multidimensional work in region.”
Ana Glenda Tager, the Regional Director of Interpeace in Latin America, agreed that the memorandum allows both organizations to strengthen violence reduction activities in Central America. She acknowledges these activities will continue to reduce violence throughout the region and feels the memorandum will have a particularly positive effect on activities in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Ana Glenda looks forward to working with the OAS, “with the support of the Organization we will be able to make a greater impact, as it is a key player in international accompaniment, as guarantor of the processes.”
Making it official
In fact, Interpeace and OAS have already begun collaborating. At a meeting in El Salvador in September of 2013, the two organizations discussed best practices for peacebuilding and social rehabilitation and reintegration. The memorandum of understanding will pave the way for more collaborations and more successful peacebuilding in the future.