Secret negotiations ending in a “peace summit” have produced an unprecedented truce between two of Boston’s most dangerous street gangs, dramatically reducing violence on their turf, the Boston Globe reports. When the effort began in June, the FBI had attributed about 20 shootings since January 2005 to the decades-old feud between gangs called Heath Street and H-Block.
That violence stopped abruptly in July, when a temporary cease-fire took effect. In the nearly four months since, there has not been a single shooting that police have connected to either group. Overall violence in the area has dropped as much as 80 percent. The Globe reconstructed how a dozen or so Boston police commanders, ministers, and youth workers used methods more akin to international diplomacy to bring peace to two violent gangs. Many of those involved were key players in the “Boston Miracle,” a collaboration of police, ministers, and community leaders that helped end a murder wave in the 1990s. Gang feuds are helping to fuel a gun-violence resurgence in the past two years. Boston is on pace this year to surpass last year’s 10-year homicide high.