Abstract Title

Tentacles of Violence from the Most Well-Organized Gang in the World

Abstract

Mara Salvatrucha, commonly known as MS-13, is a gang formed in Los Angeles, CA, by mostly Salvadoran inmates during the 1980s. Due to the high rate of violence inside the prisons where they were incarcerated, many were deported to their home country where they soon emerged as organized gangs without control from the State. Since then, this criminal organization has highly corroded the Salvadoran society and spread to other Central American countries, such as Honduras and Nicaragua. In recent decades, MS-13 has emerged in various other parts of the world like the US, the Middle East and Spain. An example of their criminal actions in the U.S. is the case of the gang member Brenda Paz, from Virginia, who tried to leave the gang. Despite being granted witness protection in exchange for her testimony against the gang, she was assassinated immediately after the gang members found out about her collaboration with police. Florida International University conducted a survey to 1200 prisoners in El Salvador. 58 percent responded that the church was the only place where the gang’s members could rehabilitate and then leave the organization; but they were strongly advised not to release any compromising information. The governments from the affected countries have been trying to find ways to eliminate these criminal organizations. Some have only partially succeeded; and others not at all. Considering the rapid growth of MS-13, will this criminal organization ever come to an end?

Modified Abstract

The Central American gang commonly known as the MS-13 was formed in Los Angeles, CA, by mostly Salvadoran inmates during the 1980s. Due to the high rate of violence inside the prisons where they were incarcerated, many of its members were deported to their home country, where they soon emerged as organized gangs without control from the State. In addition to highly corroding the Salvadoran society, this criminal organization has spread to nearby countries and other parts of the world like the U.S., Middle East and Spain. Despite efforts by the governments from the affected countries to eliminate them, they have only partially or not at all succeeded. Considering the rapid growth of MS-13, will this criminal organization ever come to an end?

Research Category

English/Languages/Communication

Author Information

Octavio ValdezFollow

Primary Author's Major

Spanish Translation

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Luis

Hermosilla

Presentation Format

Oral

Start Date

April 2019

Headshot image (2107 kB)
Headshot image

Brief biographical sketch.docx (11 kB)
Brief biographical sketch

Research Area

Latin American Languages and Societies

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Apr 9th, 1:00 PM

Tentacles of Violence from the Most Well-Organized Gang in the World

Mara Salvatrucha, commonly known as MS-13, is a gang formed in Los Angeles, CA, by mostly Salvadoran inmates during the 1980s. Due to the high rate of violence inside the prisons where they were incarcerated, many were deported to their home country where they soon emerged as organized gangs without control from the State. Since then, this criminal organization has highly corroded the Salvadoran society and spread to other Central American countries, such as Honduras and Nicaragua. In recent decades, MS-13 has emerged in various other parts of the world like the US, the Middle East and Spain. An example of their criminal actions in the U.S. is the case of the gang member Brenda Paz, from Virginia, who tried to leave the gang. Despite being granted witness protection in exchange for her testimony against the gang, she was assassinated immediately after the gang members found out about her collaboration with police. Florida International University conducted a survey to 1200 prisoners in El Salvador. 58 percent responded that the church was the only place where the gang’s members could rehabilitate and then leave the organization; but they were strongly advised not to release any compromising information. The governments from the affected countries have been trying to find ways to eliminate these criminal organizations. Some have only partially succeeded; and others not at all. Considering the rapid growth of MS-13, will this criminal organization ever come to an end?