El Slavador gang member, Sony World Photography Award 2008 Moisen Saman - CC FlickrGang leaders in El Salvador declared an unprecedented truce that authorities say has cut the homicide rate in half in just four months.

In March, rival gangs surprised the country by releasing a joint statement declaring an end to violence and pledging to freeze recruitment of new adolescent members, especially in poor neighborhoods and around schools.

Since then, the change has been dramatic. Murder rates are down by more than half, and on April 14, El Salvador recorded its first day in three years without a single murder.

(READ the Reuters story in the Chicago Tribune)

Imprisoned gang member in El Slavador, by Moisen Saman, Sony World Photography Award 2008  – CC Flickr

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