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The Americas’ Worst Nightmare: Mara Salvatrucha

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With over 70,000 members worldwide Mara Salvatrucha(MS-13) is the most dangerous gang in the world. MS-13 has a tormented founding, which is why they are so dangerous. During the 1970s many Central American countries were engulfed in civil war, such as El Salvador. Refugees fled their home countries and immigrated to cities like Los Angeles. In Los Angeles the new ethnicities, mainly El Salvadorian and Honduran, were persecuted by the already established minorities, African-American and Mexican. In order to protect their livelihoods the immigrants founded MS-13. Quickly, Mara Salvatrucha rose in the ranks of LA’s most dangerous gangs, because the founding members were ex-guerrilla fighters in El Salvador’s civil war. For example, to strike fear into their rivals MS-13 members would use machetes in turf wars. Mara Salvatrucha, a transnational gang, affects homicide rate, drug production, and civic peace in Central America.

Members of MS-13 are involved in an assortment of criminal activities. Although, the most harmful is homicide. Mara Salvatrucha uses a variety of weapons to murder people. The most prevalent way to kill a person is through the use of firearms. For example, Honduran authorities estimate that there are 1,800,00 guns in Honduras. Only 600,000 of these guns are registered with the government of Honduras (Lohmuller, 2). With 1,200,000 guns circulating in the honduran black market it is very easy for a gang member to obtain a firearm; making it even easier for a Mara Salvatrucha member to take someone’s life. To prove this point, Michael Lohmuller said, “80% of the murders in Honduras are committed with illegal firearms.” In 2011 the United Nations reported that there are 92 people murdered for every 100,00 people...

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