The Deal

In 2012 the government of El Salvador made a secret deal with gang leaders. The gangs promised not to kill as many people and in return the government agreed to transfer the gang leaders from the only maximum security jail in the country that is not controlled by gangs into other jails, all of which are controlled by the inmates.

The homicide rates in the country immediately fell by a whopping 60%.

But the deal didn’t remain secret for long. Obviously, everybody found out. Gangsters don’t tend to be good at keeping these things to themselves, and it was pretty obvious something was on when the scariest gang leaders massively left the maximum security jails.

The media worked hard to spread the message that the deal wasn’t working and that homicide rates actually grew. This was provably and obviously untrue but it’s very easy to convince the public of pretty much anything.

There was a huge backlash against the deal. The government broke the agreement with the gangs. Everybody who had negotiated the deal got fired. And homicide rates immediately went back up.

In the short time it was in place, the deal is calculated to have saved the lives of over 6,000 people.

This story was extensively covered by journalist Roberto Valencia, among other people, if you wonder about sources.

More about Magaly and Gustavo

So Magaly from the previous post, right?

Magaly never had a birth certificate because the mother couldn’t be bothered. Her mom has 9 kids with as many different men. She isn’t raising all of them. One was gifted to a hopeful migrant, the rest are spread around. The mom ended up with 3 in her house and terrorized them to the point that Magaly’s two greatest fears after the rape were to get HIV and for her mother to find out. Because she’d blame her and throw her out to be raped again.

This story is somewhat similar to that of El Directo, the notorious gang leader I wrote about yesterday. His mom had 5 kids with 5 different men before the age of 30. She threw her son out of the house at 14, according to him because he tried to protect his sister from being abused by mom’s boyfriend. According to the mom, she threw him out because his feet smelled. She thought this was a better-sounding explanation.

The boy had nowhere to go so he joined the gang. The gang brothers at least fed him and accepted his feet. Which weren’t even that smelly.

El Directo participated in horrific crimes against women, tortured his wife with extreme manifestations of jealousy, and finally had her assassinated out of jealousy.

Clueless about Central America

I’m reading more investigative reporting from Central America, and I so so wish every nice, kind person who is wailing about toothbrushes in detention camps, cheering for dispensing with detention and agitating against a wall could read it.

One report I read is about gang rape in El Salvador. More often than not, the gang rapists are not adults. The adults are in jail or left (and often directing the rapes by phone). The rapists are usually boys. Ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen years old. Doing unimaginable atrocities for fun. Raping in groups of ten, fifteen, twenty. There are also girls, often very young girls, who encourage and facilitate the rapes.

El Salvador, which is not the most violent and gang-ridden country in Central America, has the population of 6,000,000. Do you know how many people are associated with the gangs as participants, aspirants, facilitators, family members and sympathizers? About 400,000.

There is another report about women gifting one of their children to a relative or acquaintance who needs a kid to cross the border.

And so on.

The journalists who wrote the reports are all local. Which is why the articles are all in Spanish. So no, I didn’t hear any of this on Fox News. Nobody at Fox News reads Spanish and is remotely aware of the scope of the problem.

People are well-meaning but spoiled and clueless. They chatter endlessly to make themselves feel noble and heroic. I just read a devastating report about a girl called Magaly who was gang-raped by 18 boys – not men, boys – from her school. And what’s really confusing is that the same people, it’s always the very same people, who are into affirmative consent, #MeToo and feminist Disney Princesses are unstoppable in the drive to import what happened to Magaly here. Because it makes them feel better, because they believe they will be immune. Because they have the kind of magical thinking that any two-year-old would envy.

Again, these are leading Central American journalists writing for readers in Central America in Spanish. This wasn’t invented by any of your favorite bugbears on the US right.