March 9 was a notorious day in El Salvador: two of the country’s largest gangs, MS 13 and 18th street, called for a truce to stop the violence that has turned the country into one of the most dangerous places in the world. Since the agreement took place, there have been reports of a 60 percent drop in homicides. We speak to Alex Sanchez, director of Los Angeles based Homies Unidos and former MS 13 member.
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Alex Sanchez is an internationally recognized peacemaker and co-founder of Homies Unidos in Los Angeles where he has developed and implemented innovative violence prevention and intervention programs since 1998 and has also lead the organization as Executive Director since 2006.He has been sought out to consult with academics, journalists, filmmakers, elected officials, non-profit agencies and advocates at local, national and transnational levels to address youth violence prevention and intervention and is the recipient of many awards including the Drum Major Award from the Martin Luther King Legacy Association, the Lottie Wexler Award, the AGAPE Award and others.