Some of you may know this already, but the homicide rate in El Salvador dropped by less than half starting this March. We went from up to 14 murders a day to around 5, almost overnight. The drop coincided closely with the movement of 30 gang members from a maximum security prison to minimum security ones with perks like family visits, and included moving key leaders from both the major ‘maras’ (gangs) here – MS 13 and Barrio 18. El Faro.net published an article on March 14 claiming this was the result of a negotiation between the gangs and the government, from a gang member they interviewed. This sparked a whirlwind of controversy and a , howevflurry of media activity, including a writeup in the NY Times. Meanwhile both the government and the gangs deny any negotiations. Two groups did quickly take credit for the drop in crime: the church, saying they were having discussions with gangs at the jails, and the police force, who say due to “improvements in security”, things have dramatically improved. Even Funes, in a TV spot I saw twice yesterday is proudly announcing the drop in crime due to their good work. HA HA HA! It’s good comic relief.
You can read more about this in Tim’s blog, and I’ll get to my point. Even good news can be bad news for some, and a grave thing is happening:
Funeral Companies all over El Salvador
are Losing Business!
On the news two days ago, my husband saw them interviewing a member of a funeral business, saying they’ve always had a constant flow of business and now things are suddenly drying up. My husband was laughing and guffawing, and made me run from the kitchen to see the rest of the news spot. He thought it would make a good blog entry. He’s right, and I’ve written it – Thanks, Jesus. Lemons to make lemonade with have now been halved. There’s always Guatemala and Honduras, if they want to pack up and move their funeral shop there.