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Honduras gangs declare a truce, seek talks with government

A masked member of the 18th Street gang, touches his mask during a press conference inside the San Pedro Sula prison in Honduras, Tuesday, May 28, 2013. AP Photo/Esteban Felix

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Honduras’ largest and most dangerous street gangs have declared a truce, offering the government peace in exchange for rehabilitation and jobs.

A Mara Salvatrucha spokesman says the gang and a rival known as 18th Street will commit to zero violence and zero crime in the streets as first step show of good faith.

The gang leader identified only as Mario spoke to reporters on Tuesday, apologizing and asking forgiveness from society for the murders and crime that make Honduras one of the most violent countries in the world.

An 18th Street leader spoke to reporters a few minutes later, saying the gang offers the same as the rival Mara Salvatrucha, “if the government will listen.” His face was covered in a scarf and he didn’t give his name.

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