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Program Information
Bruderhof Radio
Homies Unidos
Regular Show
Magdeleno Rose-Avila
 Andrew Zimmerman  Contact Contributor
Sept. 9, 2000, 5:54 a.m.
Interview with Magdeleno Rose-Avila, founder of Homies Unidos, www.homiesunidos.org
Producer: Andrew Zimmerman
Uploaded by: Andrew Zimmerman
In the turmoil surrounding the recently exposed corruption in the Rampart division of the Los Angeles Police Department, it's been easy to overlook the people most affected by the scandal. The primary targets of the frenzied war on gangs are inner city youth, many of whom are illegal immigrants from Central America. As the youths were arrested, often on trumped up charges or under broad gang association laws, their illegal status caused many to be deported right back to the very Central American slums they thought they had escaped. And they brought their American gang culture with them, leading to a dangerous symmetry between gangs in Los Angeles and cities like San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. But while the LAPD tried vainly to quell violence with more violence, others were seeking peaceful solutions to the growing problem. In 1996, a human rights worker named Magdeleno Rose-Avila moved from Los Angeles to San Salvador. Almost immediately he noticed the similarities between gang members in the two cities, and decided to do something to halt the killing. Using techniques of nonviolence counseling from his former jobs in the United Farmworkers and Amnesty International, he formed an organization called Homies Unidos to offer youth in the high risk communities of San Salvador a chance to diminish and prevent violence in their own lives. In this program we speak with Rose-Avila about the beginnings of Homies Unidos and how it has grown to become an internationally recognized force in gang member rehabilitation and community building.

Bruderhof Radio is a production of the Bruderhof Communities, a Christian movement dedicated to nonviolence, communal living and justice. Members pool their time and talents, and share all goods and property in common. For more information about the Bruderhof Communities and Bruderhof Radio, call (800) 778-8461 ext 239, or email redzim@bruderhof.com.

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