Tragic reality of gang violence

We walk together in solidarity with a poverty-stricken community in Tonacatepeque, El Salvador. Today the pastor of the church in the community sent us an e-mail which brings into sharp, personal focus the pain of a community plagued with gangs.
The church and community of Los Heroes is again in mourning. On Sunday, May 8th, a woman named Rosa Ramirez and her son Oscar Ramirez, sister and nephew of Angelita Ramirez Zelada, member of the Lutheran Church, "Heroes de la Fe" of Tonacatepeque were brutally killed by male members of the Mara 18 gang.

Yesterday, Tuesday, May 10th, Mother's Day (in El Salvador), in the midst of crying, sadness, and the mysteries of pain, we buried them in the cemetery of Tonacatepeque. In the midst of extreme poverty, this has been such a difficult burden of pain for Angelita, the grandmother Josefina, and children, Marta, Guadalupe, Maria, Angela, Luis, Jorge and other family members.

There is anguish, fear, confusion and uncertainty in the Ramirez family. Luis is afraid that something is going to happen to his mother or to others in his family. The youth and families in the community Los Heroes are threatened. The community Los Heroes is unjustly being the victim of violence. The Lutheran Church Los Heroes, the directiva of the community, the affected families and those at major risk... we all are thinking, "What can we do?" ...

In the last months, the statistics of violence in some departments, cities and municipalities have increased considerably. In contradiction, major newspapers like La Prensa Grafica are greatly publicizing the prevention of violence. In the same manner, the government has launched publicity campaigns about its programs of the "super firm hand", the "friendly hand," the secretary of youth and the violence. But crime continues to grow.

I ask you for your prayers for the families of Los Heroes who have suffered the loss of their loved ones and also I ask for your thoughts so that God may illumine our minds and our hearts.

I believe that it is urgent to call President Elias Antonio Saca and the different governmental institutions, the Ministry of Governance, the District Attorney, the Attorney General, and the National Police, in order that they deepen the investigations of the crimes on buses and the massacres of families in the last 3 months of 2005.

A news article about the murders is here.


Anonymous said…
Gang violence will not stop. It is much like prostitution. Stop it in one part of the city and it will show up where there is no resistance.
Gang violence must be redefined as a federal crime and called by what it is; Domestic terrorism. Then we will see changes for the good of all.
Anonymous said…
We live in a very sad times. Unfortunatly gang violence is not something that can be dealt with in one direct way. There are people, those living in the 'gang' affected areas or/and part of those gangs that would welcome a change, given a chance and support from the goverment by means such as 'protective custody', 'relocation programme', 'placements grants', yet the goverment is failing it's citizens in every one of those departments not to mention numerous other factors to with a blind eye is turned, therefore letting the situation control itself, which it can not do but blow to most uncontrollable levels, like a runaway train that keeps gaining speed going downhill and crashing everything in its path.. Also there are those gang members that do not want to change their lifestyle, partly because it is a way of life to which they have became accustomed to, partly because they see the goverment failing them in every department and all those promises made by the politicians are nothing but 'sugar coated shit candy' that the more you bite the more hidden truths you uncover. Those people realise that they will make more money then they could ever do within a more 'peaceful' lifestyle, but it come with a price: health, wellbeing or more commonly a persons life. No goverment has the right to put its people like cattle on the edge of a cliff and put them before a choice: jump and die or try and run back and get shot..
Unfortunatly it appears to be a perfect checkmate...whilst we are dieing on the streets and in our homes, those in control 'shit on us from a high branch of a tree' where they are unreachable..
It is a frightening prospect and an incredably sad situation being able to see, hear and experience all of the following around us but beeing complitely unable to change the situation for the better.. We are all being inprisoned.. ..inprisoned in our 'fake artificial freedom'.
Anonymous said…
Check out "trickertricks" videos on Youtube if you want some answers.
Escalating Violence pt 1, 2 and 3 and Understanding All Problems With 100% Accuracy.
Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.