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Embed code for: MS-13 GANG PROFILE
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Gang Profile of MS-13. Also known as Mara Salvatrucha. One of the most notorious gangs in America.
Mara is slang for a gang or posse
Salvatrucha is slang for a street smart or street tough Salvadoran
The number 13 signifies the letter M as the thirteenth letter of the alphabet
MS-13 GANG PROFILE
In the 1980s, a violent civil war erupted in the country between the Salvadoran government and the leftist guerilla groups that opposed it.
During this civil conflict approximately 70,000 Salvadorans lost their lives, and about 1 million fled the country (particularly to the United States) in order to escape.
Many of the Salvadorian immigrants who came to the United States settled in Southern California and Washington D.C.
Those who settled in Southern California predominantly set their residences in the Rampart area of Los Angeles. The Mexican Mafia dominated this area at the time.
Consequently, many of the new immigrant youth where victimized by the Mexican-American gang.
Mara Salvatrucha has its roots in El Salvador.
In response to the violence, Salvadoran youths began to band together in order to protect themselves
As the gang increased in numbers so did their involvement in illegal enterprises.
In 1993 MS leaders formed an alliance with the Mexican Mafia.
Through growth and alliances, they began accepting members of other nationalities.
Characteristics of the Gang Members Initiation (Beating In)
Members are initiated into the gang through a ritual called beating in where prospective members are beaten by current members for at least thirteen seconds. Often times they are beaten by three older members.
Female members are usually initiated through sexual rituals, such as having sex with thirteen members of the gang, but they may have the option to be beaten in instead.
Before the initiation process prospective members are required to undergo a trial period. During this period, they hang out with members and participate in gang activities.
Characteristics of the Gang Members
Current estimates suggest that the gang is comprised of members who range from the ages of eight to forty.
The gang recruits youths from high schools, middle schools, and juvenile detention centers.
The goal is to get the youngest members possible so that as they get older their commitment to the gang is cemented to their whole lives.
The majority of members are of Salvadorian origin. They also have Ecuadorians, Guatemalans, Mexicans, Hondurans, and Peruvians.
Members tend to have tattoos all over their bodies.
The hand sign most often used are the devil horns.
The gang’s colors are blue and white, which are the colors of the El Salvadoran flag.
The machete is also a symbol of the gang. The reason for this is that the machete is a cultural symbol in El Salvador, especially in rural areas where there are farming families .
The MS-13 is divided into subgroups called cliques; each clique has its own name and is in charge of defending a certain amount of territory.
Each clique is independent of one another, but they will band together in response to a perceived threat.
Cliques may also work together in some criminal activities, such as dealing drugs and selling weapons.
All the cliques have leaders; however, the organizational structure of each clique varies.
Thirteen rules are given to each member following his or her initiation.
If a subordinate member does not follow an order or rule, then he must be killed.
Once a member of the gang they cannot renounce that membership, the only form to undo ties with the gang is through death.
They are not allowed to snitch on fellow MS members.
They have to share their belongings with gang members.
They have to participate in gang functions, such as retaliations or hits on other gangs.
Members have to recruit, kill when instructed, bring profit for the gang, and prove their toughness.
MS-13 has become notorious in the U.S. for their involvement in criminal behavior.
Violence plays a major role in MS-13 culture.
MS-13 members also use violence to keep rivals from taking their turf. Turf is very profitable, and the more turf a gang has, the more powerful it is.
Violence is also used by MS-13 to conduct business.
Fear and intimidation is used to collect taxes from any business owners for the right to conduct business in MS-13 territory.
Other criminal activities are drug distribution, murder, rape, prostitution, robbery, home invasions, immigration offenses, kidnapping, carjackings/auto thefts, and vandalism.
The MS-13 Threat A National Assessment As of January 14, 2008
While the threat posed by MS-13 to the U.S. as a whole is at the “medium” level, membership in parts of the country is so concentrated that we’ve labeled the threat level there “high.”
MS-13 operates in at least 42 states and the District of Columbia.
They have about 6,000 to 10,000 members nationwide.
The threat is the highest in the western and Northeastern parts of the country, which coincides with elevated Salvadoran immigrant populations.
MS-13 is expanding its membership at a “moderate” rate through recruitment and migration. gether in order to protect themselves
MS-13 members also use violence to keep rivals from taking their turf. Turf is very profita