El Salvador: Gang Truce Over, Murder Rates Surge

By: PanAm Post Staff - May 27, 2014, 12:29 pm

EspañolEl Salvador’s outgoing President Mauricio Funes acknowledged on Monday that the gang truce that cut the country’s murders by half for nearly two years has collapsed.

The March 2012 peace agreement between the Mara Salvatrucha and Mara 18 gangs reduced the average daily number of murders from 14 to around five, until recently. The pact has always been surrounded by criticism and rejection, while the Funes administration denied ever negotiating with the gangs, assuring that it had only acted as “facilitator” between the groups.

“Today, we’re at an average of 14 homicides per day in part because there are organized crime structures, with clear political links and motivations, that want the country to be seen as a failed state,” president Funes said.

Last Friday, authorities registered at least 31 homicides nationwide.

Source: Latin American Herald Tribune.

Uruguay: Employers Fight Decree, Seek to Punish Pot-Smoking Employees

By: PanAm Post Staff - May 27, 2014, 12:20 pm

EspañolA group of 20 companies will file tomorrow an administrative appeal against the presidential decree 120/2014, approved last week and regulating the production, distribution, and sale of marijuana in Uruguay. The employers are complaining about subsection 42, which restricts punishments on employees for attending work under the influence of marijuana or using it during the workday. Several companies from the transportation and services sectors in Uruguay argue in a letter that the legislation "affects their direct, personal, and legitimate interest by eliminating the employer's authority to punish workers under the influence of cannabis." The appellant companies say the marijuana decree is "illegitimate," because it "invades the contractual employment relationship between individuals, reducing the employer's reach and putting the workers' life and physical integrity at risk." Lawyer Diego Durand complains that it is "totally illogical" that Uruguay's government forbids marijuana-related penalties on employees, while at the same time a recently enacted law about employer criminal liability sanctions firms for failing to secure safe working conditions. Source: El País.

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