Gang Violence And Organized Crime

1966 Words Dec 14th, 2016 8 Pages
Gang violence and organized crime have become a serious problem for El Salvador and Central America for the past decade. Gang violence is an enormous problem in El Salvador especially among young people with an estimate of 60,000 minors belonging to gangs. According to government organization Instituto de Medicina Legal, the country has the highest murder rate in Latin America and the Caribbean with 103 murders per 100,000 person. High rates of violence are contributed by competition between rival gangs and police brutality towards suspected gang members. The institute also reports that on average there was one homicide per hour in the first three months of 2016.
The two major gangs in El Salvador are, the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and Barrio 18 (MS18). MS 18 is a Mexican gang that originated in California in the 1960’s. In the 1980s when thousands of El Salvadorian fled the civil war for a better and peaceful life in the United States. Some people joined MS 18 while others joined together to create MS13th.
The rise of gang violence and organized crime in El Salvador and the region is due to the shift of the drug trafficking route from the Caribbean countries to Central America, U.S war on drugs and illegal immigration, poverty, accessibility of firearms, and a weak criminal justice system.
Central America serves as a crucial transportation route for drugs bound from South America to the United States. Traffickers smuggle heroin, marijuana, and cocaine from South American…
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