Why The Gang Will Never Die Out

1914 Words Oct 11th, 2014 8 Pages
MS-13: Why the Gang Will Never Die Out
Kathryn E. Psenda
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

Abstract Mara Salvatrucha, often called the most dangerous gang in America, was bred from the violence and war that plagued El Salvador for over 12 years. As Salvadoran civilians, as well as ex-guerillas, sought asylum in the United States, they brought with them an ember of this violence that was stoked in the dangerous streets of Pico-Union, L.A. To defend themselves, the refugees formed MS-13, which quickly became violent as it clashed with its rival, Barrio 18. Over the last three decades, MS-13’s leaders have organized the gang in response to Anti-Gang Laws, and despite leaks of its secrets over the years, the gang only continues to become more secretive, larger, and more deadly as it expands into the world of organized crime. Due to its expansiveness and degree of organization, Mara Salvatrucha will never die out unless the conditions that created the gang are eradicated: poverty, the lack of quality education opportunities, and poor community infrastructure. Poverty, the lack of quality educational opportunities, and poor community infrastructure—as history tells, such conditions may serve as the basis for disaster. In 1979, the small Central American country of El Salvador, suffering from over-population and a large wealth gap, saw its government overthrown in a military coup (Kane, 2002). By 1980, a civil war had fully erupted between the Salvadoran…

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