The New Face of Street Gangs in Central America

LACC, in partnership with the Jack Gordon Institute and Fundacion Nacional para el Desarrollo (FUNDE), was awarded an INL- U.S. Department of State research grant to study gang desistance in El Salvador. This research project is based on a survey with a convenience sample of 1,196 respondents with a record of gang membership and 32 in-depth interviews. It reveals that desistance from the gang is possible in El Salvador and that, although the decision to leave the group is seemingly an individual choice, it also depends on the gang organization’s acquiescence. The study also shows that progression toward gang desistance has to be constantly negotiated with the overwhelming power of the gang structures in the country. Find the English version of the report here and the Spanish version here.