Luis Ernesto Romero and Homies Unidos

Homies Unidos is an organization working with Salvadoran gang members in El Salvador and Los Angeles. Its director in El Salvador, Luis Ernesto Romero, has been recognized by the CNN television network as a "CNN Hero" and a "Community Crusader."

From the CNN web site:
There are more than 12,000 gang members in El Salvador, according to police estimates. Luis Ernesto Romero used to be one of them. Today, he is director of Homies Unidos El Salvador. Its mission: to help youths leave the gang life through education and job training.

You can view the CNN video about this Salvadoran hero at this link.

More information about Homies Unidos is available at its website (which is currently undergoing a makeover and has a number of broken links) and in this article.


Anonymous said…
Hooray for tha Homie. Isn't it ironic that while the government only see jail to stop the gang rampage, other people trie to work the problem in a more humane way?
It's always like that with those right wing governments, to them peple are born bad and need to be policed and not nurture and provide opportunities to become a good citizen.
Thnks for the article Tim.
Anonymous said…
A Salvadoran point of view:

During the early stages of the civil war, the salvadoran gov, used especial clandestined groups, as a preventive tool, against the growing revolutionary organizations.

Now! Why not use these same methods to erradicate "Maras". It is obvious that these segments of the population "CANNOT BE" RE INTEGRATED into main stream society... They are in a sense hadicap.

It sounds cruel and sadistic, but many societies have implemented such tactis and cleaned-up.

You cannot expect El Salvador to function as a developed nations, that has been the greatest mistake, we are not accustomed to diplomacies and pampering.

Sorry... That is just the way I see things... I ride the microbus to work on a daily bases. And I tell you comfidently that my barbaric concepts are quite popular.

Ronal Perate "aka El Vandel"
Anonymous said…
The problem is that the gangs have become how do you say... a place where youths who don't who through a series of factors that may induce them into feeling that gangs is a solution or an exit go to. Are you telling me you'd murder 12,000 folks? If so, and are actually claiming for folks like Will Salgado to continue their Sombra Negra Operations, I do hope that at least you become part of "picking up the trash", or "culling the herd" as it would be. BUT, even that retrograde kind of thinking won't change the fact that the factors that lead to the creation and prolongation of the gangs will still be there.

What a country like this needs is to STOP with the "third world" mentality, cause that is one of the reasons we remain so short sighted and repeat the usual mistakes. In order to reduce delinquency, better population management used be used: family planning, promote birth control, promote developement throughout the country instead of a few certain centers, promote as Homie Unidos seems to be doing entrepenourship among the population, give access to better education, etc.

And the first steps to have the funds to do this, should be abolishing the army (111 million dollars), eliminating Casaca's perpetual propaganda campaign (not sure how many millions), reducing tax evation, etc.

Gangs after all, are a product of a sick society. They just didn't occur thanks to spontaneous reproduction.
Anonymous said…
I think there are more than 12000 gangs members in El Salvador.