Bishop says no truce yet between Honduran gangs

Tegucigalpa, Jun 3, 2013 / 12:47 pm (CNA).- A bishop in Honduras said a truce has still not been achieved between rival gangs in the country that have unleashed “an underhanded civil war between Honduran young people.”

Auxiliary Bishop Romulo Emiliani of San Pedro de Sula denied reports of a truce between the country’s two most violent gangs, the M-18 and the MS-13. 

Leaders of both gangs appeared in the media to ask “forgiveness of society and the authorities” and to promise to put an end to their confrontations with the help of the Church and the Organization of American States.

However, Bishop Emiliani, who has been working to end the youth violence in the country, said that this does not mean an agreement of peace has been reached between the two groups.

“What they have done is make a statement of the principles of reconciliation, with God, with society, with the government and the police,” he said.

But while both gangs agree on this, they have not spoken to each other, he explained.

“A truce between the gangs has not yet been achieved,” Bishop Emiliani clarified. “They continue to be at war,” with young people fighting each other and “using the most terrible of means.”

“I do not understand such terrible hatred between poor Honduran young people,” he lamented.

Leaders of one of the gangs promised “zero crimes” against the population “and the other said no more extortions,” the bishop continued.

The gang members are undergoing “a process of enlightenment,” as they “do not want their children to suffer what they are suffering,” he explained. However, this could be a long process that could go on for decades. 

Bishop Emiliani chided the state for its “timid” participation, noting that President Porfirio Lobo called him three days ago to offer his “moral support,” but that “there has been no presence from the government.”

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