Date: March 28, 2008 The Forum; Length: 46 min.
Internationally renowned peace negotiator Alex Sanchez, who has been integral in the development of peace treaties between South Los Angeles gang members, was once a gang member himself. Due in part to his background, his mediations were often suppressed by the notorious Rampart Division of the Los Angeles Police Department, which refused to believe that his brand of rehabilitation, education and compassion could be more effective at prevention than incarceration. In 2000, Sanchez was arrested and prepared for deportation to his native El Salvador because of LAPD claims that his peace organization, Homies Unidos, was a ruse for gang activity. Community activists, including Senator Tom Hayden, appealed and eventually won his release. Today, Sanchez is one of the luminaries of peace on the war-torn streets of South L.A. and an inspiration to urban peacemakers across America. Join Sanchez and local community organizers for a frank discussion on Santa Fe's - and America's - growing gang problem