El Salvador ex-officials say following orders in gang truce
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El Salvador ex-officials say following orders in gang truce

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — Former government officials in El Salvador on trial for participation in a gang truce that temporarily lowered the country’s sky-high murder rate in 2012 maintain they were following orders for the plan put in motion by then-President Mauricio Funes.

Defence lawyer Manuel Chacón said Thursday that witness testimony shows that the truce was a policy of Funes’ administration and the 18 people on trial were just following orders. Those on trial face charges of arbitrary acts and participating in a criminal enterprise.

The pact was negotiated between the government and the two main street gangs Mara Salvatrucha 13 and Barrio 18. They agreed to lower the number of murders in exchange for their leaders being moved to lower security prisons where they had greater control of their members.

The Associated Press

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