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Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS-13) Gang: History, Analysis and Interventions

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Criminology
Wordcount: 1813 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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In this paper, you will read about the Mara Salvatrucha Gang better known as MS-13. This document will be based on Theoretical meanings, a brief historical background, and an Analysis and Recommendation to help dissolve issues within this gang and the region they reside. The purpose of this academic paper is to inform you of the issues that arise from allowing this gang to terrorize the places in which they are well known. The purpose is to also inform you of a plausible recommendation towards a better outcome between Nations and gangs.

Keywords: Mara Salvatrucha, MS-13, Plausible, Reliable.

Why Is MS-13 an Issue?

The Central American gang known as MS-13 or Mara Salvatrucha is a gang that was started in Los Angeles, California in or around the 1970s or the 1980s. Although MS-13 was started in North America for Salvadorian immigrants, it is well known through Central and South America as well. In El Salvador, the crimes against police and civilians are the highest of the three areas. 

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The History of MS-13

In the years between the 1970s and 1980s, the street gang La Mara Salvatrucha was formed in Los Angeles, California. The gang was ultimately started to protect immigrants from El Salvador from other LA gangs. This street gang is mainly prominent in Central America, most southern states of North America, including states such as Texas, California, Georgia, Tennesse, North Carolina, and Virginia to say the least (Wolf 2012). The various locations of this gang strive from immigration being noticeable in various regions of the area. Mara Salvatrucha 13 gang is notorious in the “rape, control, kill” motto. A theory could be sparked to say that El Salvador citizens would often flee from their country to find refuge from the violence.

Theoretical Perspectives

La Mara Salvatrucha gang or better known as MS-13 gang has always been prominent in the Americas; Central, North, and South. MS-13 poses a threat to the United States as far as people who illegally migrate to the United States for purposes of escaping the gangs. In addition, while conducting research on this topic, there is a lot of peer-reviewed articles and news articles. Although there is coverage on this gang, that does not mean that we have all the corresponding knowledge on how and why they are a threat to the United States. 

I believe that the reason MS-13 is such a big deal in North America is that we have people entering the country illegally and running from their issues in Central and South America. According to the New York Times article, the MS-13 gang was defined as an infestation, this was later proven to be false because the number of members in North America was no more than 10,000 members (Chinoy, Ma, & Thompson, 2018).

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In North America, although there are cities that deem themselves as sanctuary cities for immigrants. The certain laws today are trying to force those cities to withdraw their law or statute to make it so illegal immigration can be handled. In Addition, the immigration laws of North America should work towards a better deal when it comes to issues that they have. Despite immigration being an issue in North America, the policies that they have in law really do not help the case as it may be.  The biggest issue with the Immigration policy at this certain time, we are often seeing illegal migrant children being forcibly removed from parents and placed into different holding facilities (Roth et al., 2018). Based on information found in an article on https://www.propublica.org/article/ms-13-immigration-facts-what-trump-administration-gets-wrong, Hannah Dreier has been following MS-13 for a year. When following the gang, she noticed, as stated in her subtitle; “The gang is not invading the country, they are not posing as fake families, they are not growing”(Dreier, 2019). According to Dreier, the gang is not a part of the United States as some people have said in the past year. In addition, she also talks briefly about the home front of MS-13 being remotely in Northern El Salvador. On the contrary, the arrests made by ICE on the Southern Border was linked to being only 328 Mara Salvatrucha arrests compared to the 528,081 of other individuals arrested trying to cross the border (Chinoy, Ma, & Thompson, 2018). At this point, immigration laws need to focus more on the gang members trickling through the border. The way that you can see whether someone is MS-13 or not is usually by the tattoos (such as facial tattoos reading Mara Salvatrucha or devil horns). If the border focuses on that then they will be able to collectively deny people.

Initial Analysis & Recommendations. Throughout this piece of the paper, I will be discussing my analysis of the gang MS-13 and giving my own recommendations to how we as a Nation can combat and deter the Mara Salvatrucha gang from the United States. The initial idea is to not fight against the gang but deter their drugs and crime regime away from the American border.  Currently, On the Southern half of North America, we have the US Customs and Border patrol that keeps trouble away from entering the country. Instead of the United States trying to budget and focus funds for one area, what if the United States could work closely with Central and South America in a cohort to fight the crimes committed by MS-13 Gang. In 2005, the Gang Deterrence and Community Protection Act was passed (Kiddler 2007). This Act was passed to deter crime and keep the gang violence to a minimum and keep the community safe. In my opinion, this Act should be revisited and revised to better fit the actions in this generation. I believe that the best way to better the community and the United States would be to look at all the laws and statutes in legislation and make not only revisions but make better peace within the following countries. The best thing would be to create a truce with Central and South America and work together as an international gang unit to fight the Mara Salvatrucha gang. The truce should be a lifetime commitment that can’t be removed from any country. The specific crimes that are committed in Central America are higher depending on the country. In comparison, based on an academic journal called Gang Violence and Insecurity in Contemporary Central America, we are given 8 different images that all show gang violence within Central American Countries (Perez 2013). I believe that these graphs will lay the foundation for Central America, South America, and North America to pinpoint “Hotspots” to start busting up gang violence.

In conclusion, I recommend that we as three nations should come together and begin working as a unit to fight and prevent crime. In addition, I think that we should create an International tactical gang unit to deter the crime against the MS-13 gang and other Central American gangs. I believe that the Internation Gang Unit should be a Three Nation governmental based group that should work together to end MS-13 violence. For example, think of the CIA, MI6 and the Federales working together as a team to not only keep violence rates to a minimum but also to keep the gangs from migrating illegally. The best option would be to make the gangs afraid to come around the border in those countries and deter crime for a whole to drop the crime rates. If we can lower crime rates and keep the violence to a minimum, then we could drop the homicide rates and drug rates. The biggest thing that keeps the Mara Salvatrucha gang operative is the monetary gain and being able to move things country to country.



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