Regis College Senior Honors Program
Thesis - Open Access
Number of Pages
In March of 2012, the MS-13 and Barrio 18 street gangs of EI Salvador declared a truce and end in their violent war for territory. National homicide rates decreased overnight and now the Salvadoran government has become involved in facilitating and maintaining the life and continuity of this truce. This thesis discusses the roots of these gangs in terms of historical events such as the Salvadoran Civil War and the United States' involvement through immigration and deportation. Analyzing past responses to Salvadoran gangs, I found a primarily repression-based strategy that served to radicalize, brutalize and solidify the gang. Some NGOs and progressive businesses have started to address the problem, but without government support, their efforts are ineffective. Prison conditions in EI Salvador only serve to exacerbate the situation. I looked at Greg Boyle's Homeboy Industries model in Los Angeles for some insights. Homeboy has created many great employment opportunities but also tries to address many of the social aspects of gang reformation. I came away from my study of Homeboy Industries with the notion that if we are really willing to reform gang members in EI Salvador, kinship has to be the driving influence.
Date of Award
© Edward Lynch
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Lynch, Edward, "Responding to Gang Violence in El Salvador: What Homeboy Industries Can Teach Us About Reinsertion and Prevention" (2013). Student Publications. 586.