Expert suggests the use of Colombia as an example for negotiating from a position of strength

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According to safety advisor and partner of Giuliani Security Safety, John Huvane , it is a mistake for a government to establish a dialogue with criminal groups if it starts from a position of weakness.

It is only possible to speak from a position of force when there have been strategic blows to the crime and these groups are decimated, added the security consultant who along with ex-Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani, presented in May of 2015 a proposal of security to the Government Of El Salvador (see attached table).

Huvane added that one can only negotiate with those who are willing to stop their crime. If criminals want to abandon violence, they can talk and if they continue to commit crimes, they are persecuted and go to jail.

The consultant told El Diario de Hoy that El Salvador can learn valuable lessons from Colombia in combating criminal groups. Two cases of success that gave were the combat to the FARC and the drastic reduction of the crime in Medellín.

The Colombian Government only sat down to dialogue with the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) after fighting them in the jungle; Many of their leaders were killed or captured, and their forces decimated. The government sat down to negotiate from a position of strength, Huvane said.

He also pointed out that the different sectors in El Salvador and the Government are the ones that must make the decision on whether or not to negotiate, but recommended to follow closely the way the Colombians dealt with the FARC and the strong leadership that has been there. They are having positive results, he said.

Another example that El Salvador could replicate, according to Huvane, is that of Medellín where they reduced homicides by 48% after a five-month intervention.

The implemented plan was based on the identification of 359 violent points, where the crime was concentrated in the city, which received special attention and more time of patrols. In these sectors, technology was used to increase police monitoring.

Huvane said that these plans worked thanks to the professionalization of the police and strong political leadership, attributed in large part to former President Álvaro Uribe and current president Juan Manuel Santos.