Mara Salvatrucha 13
Drugs and Death on the Streets of America are not a new problem due to gangs; they have existed in New York and other eastern cities for more than two hundred years. During the 1980s and early 1990s El Salvador was plagued by a Civil war between an oppressive US-funded military and an insurgent guerrilla movement. In 1988 the population of El Salvador was only 5.3 million; one in every six people left El Salvador after the war. Most of these refugees fled to the United States where they were allowed to live and work under a system known as Temporary Protected Status. Many Salvadorians moved into the California/Los Angeles area, most notably the Pico Union neighborhood of Los Angeles. Here they were subjected to extortion, being hustled, and abuse from other ethnic minorities already living there and local gangs. Some Salvadorians and other Central American immigrants learned to adapt by adopting the gang culture that they were abused by during their earlier years living in the States. The most notable of these groups is MS-13 or formally known as Mara Salvatrucha. Over the past two decades, MS-13 "cliques," as the gangs are called, have cropped up in nearly every U.S. city that has a large Hispanic population. Today the Federal definition of a “gang” is a group of individuals with a recognized name and symbols who form an allegiance for a common purpose and who engage in continuous unlawful activity. Most of today’s adolescents join a gang for the feelings of respect and power, or they are drawn in by parties, girls/boys, or drugs and low self-esteems. Law enforcement is trying it’s hardest to prevent gang initiations and violence, but there is always more that can be done. Such as more extracurricular activities, more law enforcement involvement with children, and a tighter watch of children while they are young. MS- 13 uses extreme violence to get their point across to their enemies and to law enforcement who try to limit their activities....
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