Mediation with Non-Conventional Armed Groups? Experiences from Latin America

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My Policy Brief as a Fellow of the Global South Unit for Mediation GSUM, BRICS Policy Center, is just out.  This Brief addresses mediation initiatives with criminal and non-conventional groups in Latin America, against the background of the theory and practice of international mediation. Exploring case studies in El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia and Mexico, it tries to illuminate the possibilities and challenges of applying traditional conflict resolution strategies to hybrid and non-conventional forms of violence.

The report addresses the following questions: How has mediation with criminal groups been conducted in selected Latin American countries? What combinations of actors have been involved? What factors have affected the outcomes of those processes? What lessons can be drawn regarding mediating criminal and hybrid agendas elsewhere?

The document can be accessed and dowloaded in the website of GSUM, here.

Mi Policy Brief, como Fellow de la Global South Unit for Mediation – GSUM en el BRICS Policy Center, se acaba de publicar (en inglés). “Mediation with Non-Conventional Armed Groups? Experiences from Latin America”, aborda iniciativas de mediación con grupos armados criminales y no convencionales (bandas, híbridos, narcotraficantes, vigilantes) teniendo como fondo la teoría y la práctica de la mediación internacional. Los casos de estudio son El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia y México.

El informe aborda algunas cuestiones esenciales: ¿Es posible la mediación con grupos criminales y no-convencionales? ¿Cómo se ha hecho en América Latina? ¿Qué actores han participado? ¿Qué factores han influido en las dinámicas y los resultados de esos procesos de mediación? ¿Cuáles son las lecciones de cara a futuros intentos, en América Latina y en otros lugares?

El documento se puede ver y descargar en la web de GSUM, aquí.

 

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El Salvador’s gang truce: a lost opportunity?

Violence is escalating again in El Salvador. March 2015 was the most violent month in over a decade, and the government is preparing army and police battalions to fight the gangs. These trends mark the definitive end of a process which started in 2012 with a truce between the two main gangs—MS-13 and Barrio 18—and evolved into a more complex and multidimensional approach to reducing violence, with a degree of international support.

The process was complicated, imperfect and subject to public controversy, but it stands as one of the most significant examples worldwide of an effort to reduce violence through negotiation with criminal groups. With an annual homicide rate of 60 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, El Salvador is one of the most violent countries in the world. It is also a notable example of the trend towards non-conventional, hybrid and criminal violence.

You can read the full article in Sustainable Security and Open Democracy. Thank you!