Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the MS-13 gang could be designated as a terrorist organization:
Speaking to a meeting of the Organized Crime Council on Tuesday, Sessions blamed open borders and lax immigration enforcement for the growth of the crime gang, which was founded in Los Angeles in the 1980s by Central American immigrants mostly from El Salvador.He said his Justice Department would have “zero tolerance” for the gang violence.
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Members of MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, are known for their violent methods and fierce gang loyalty. According to the National Gang Intelligence Center, MS-13 has more than 10,000 members in the United States, and more than 30,000 worldwide.
Elena Toledo writes,
Donald Trump signed an executive order shortly after taking office in which he asked the Justice Department to convene a working group to go after transnational criminal organizations like MS-13, whose formal name is Mara Salvatrucha. They have been based mainly in El Salvador since 1990 when there was a wave of deportations from the United States, and many in the criminal hierarchy set up shop in the troubled Central American nation.
The Center for Immigration Studies posts on how Yet Another Brutal MS-13 Attack Shows Need for Crackdown on UACs [unaccompanied children (UACs)].
Other media reports allege that Mexican cartels use underage MS-13 members as hit men.
El Salvador has already designated the gang a terrorist group, and The U.S. Treasury Department declared the group a transnational criminal organization in October 2012,
While declaring the group a TCO, the department linked MS-13 to drug trafficking, kidnapping, human smuggling, sex trafficking, murder, assassinations, racketeering, blackmail, extortion and immigration offenses.
InSight Crime reports on Salvadoran organized crime: MS-13, Texis Cartel, MS-18 Barrio 18, and the Perrones.
I have been blogging about MS-13 for at least ten years.