English · Português
ISSN 0102-8529 (Impresso)
1982-0240 (Online)
PUC-Rio - Página inicial Instituto de Relações Internacionais Revista Contexto Internacional

Vol. 39, N° 3, 2017

Between New Terrains and Old Dichotomies: Peacebuilding and the Gangs’ Truce in El Salvador

Sílvia Roque


Abstract

This article intends to challenge the dominant assumptions that undermine the potential application of peacebuilding frameworks beyond formal post-war contexts. It analyses the gangs’ truce that recently took place in El Salvador as a privileged laboratory to rethink hegemonic understandings and practices of peacebuilding by specifically addressing the importance of overcoming dichotomised categories such ‘war and peace’, ‘criminal and political’, and ‘success and failure’. It is claimed that while the truce fostered a discourse pointing towards an ongoing peace process and enlarged the public debate on the failings of post-war policies and on the structural roots of violence, it was also decisively undermined by the inability to surmount the dichotomy that juxtaposes the criminal and the political domains. It is argued that a peacebuilding framework, inspired by a set of critical perspectives on war and peace and on the nature of ‘the political’, may thus be of crucial importance for the future of policies aimed at curbing violence in El Salvador and elsewhere.

Keywords: El Salvador; Gangs; Truce; Peacebuilding; Violence; Political Subjectivity; Discourses.

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