The Negotiators: A former gang member describes how a Mideast treaty became the model for the Watts cease-fire.
Gang violence in Los Angeles surged dramatically in the 1980s. Over a seven-year period beginning in 1985, more than 4,000 people died from gang-related clashes. That’s more than the death toll in some high-profile conflicts around the world, including the Troubles in Northern Ireland.
On the latest episode of The Negotiators, we look at the Watts truce in 1992—a peace agreement between rival gangs in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. It had a significant impact: Gang-related murders reportedly dropped 44 percent in Watts in the first two years after the treaty was signed.
Aqeela Sherrills grew up in Watts and was one of the key negotiators of the truce. He is currently the co-founder and leader of the Community Based Public Safety Collective and recently partnered with the White House on preventing gun violence. He shared his story with Negotiators host Jennifer Williams.
The Negotiators is a collaboration between Doha Debates and Foreign Policy.
About The Negotiators: Conflicts don’t just get resolved on their own. Most are settled through a grueling process of give and take, usually behind closed doors. On the podcast The Negotiators, Foreign Policy is teaming up with Doha Debates to put listeners in the room. Hosted by FP deputy editor Jenn Williams, each episode features one mediator, diplomat, or troubleshooter, describing one dramatic negotiation. You’ll hear about a nuclear standoff, a hostage crisis, a gang mediation, and much more: successes and failures that shaped people’s lives. See All Episodes
More The Negotiators episodes:
The Maestro of Mediation
The Negotiators: William Ury has helped resolve some of the world’s most intractable conflicts. Here’s how he does it.
From Humanitarian Catastrophe to Peace in Yemen?
The Negotiators: As warring factions inch closer to a deal, mediators in Yemen describe what it takes to end a grueling war.
Why Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plans Fail
The Negotiators: The story of one promising initiative known as the Road Map is telling.
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