California IN BRIEF : SANTA ANA : 500 Gang Members Sign Truce Pact
About 500 Latino gang members from across Orange County gathered in El Salvador Park to sign a treaty codifying a truce started in January. The United Gangs Council for the past eight months has been organizing summits in the park and canvassing neighborhoods to promote the truce. Representatives of three dozen gangs from San Clemente to La Habra joined the talks, promising with their signatures to lay down their weapons and stop the violence. Men who support the treaty say future disputes will be settled by fistfights or through sports rather than with guns and knives. The United Gangs Council members say gang activity has dropped significantly, and that the formalized treaty will mean ostracism and retribution for anyone who breaks the peace. “We know that paper’s just paper, but it’s the one that signs the paper that lives by it,” said the council’s Gilbert Gonzalez.