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El Salvador Mediation Project Final Report

By: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Seventeen years after the end of El Salvador’s civil war, the legacy of war continues. High levels of social and economic inequality, joblessness, and violent crime threaten the peace process initiated to stabilize post-civil war El Salvador. El Salvador remains one of the most violent countries in the Western Hemisphere with an average of 10 murders committed daily according to the Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC). The strong presence of street gangs and drug trafficking is a major problem throughout the country with polls indicating that 15 percent of the population considers crime their top concern. Findings by the North American Congress on Latin America (NACLA) suggest the security situation in both urban and rural El Salvador will continue to deteriorate unless interventions targeted to decrease social and youth violence continue. In this context, the development and expansion of mediation for applicability throughout Salvadoran society and state institutions has been a key donor effort.

The USAID Mediation Project (the “Project”) has been implemented under a contract with DPK Consulting, a division of Alternative Dispute Resolution, Inc., and builds upon the USAID’s ongoing efforts in alternative dispute resolution that date back to 1997. The Project covered three main areas of implementation: (a) harmonizing the legal framework for ADR in El Salvador; (b) consolidating, expanding and disseminating information on the available mediation services in the country, and (c) monitoring the impact of mediation.