Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, is a street gang that originated in El Salvador and is now an internationally spread gang. According to private assessments of Los Angeles police officers, MS-13 has up to 50,000 members worldwide of whom at least 10,000 are in the Los Angelas area. It has a large presence in several other states of the United States, including Texas and New York and as well as throughout Central America. It is the fastest-growing gang in the world, along with its rival, the 18th Street gang. Members are easily recognizable by their elaborate Gothic-style tattoos.
MS-13 originated during the Salvadorian civil war of the 1980s, and their motto is "mata, viola, controla", which translates to "rape, kill, control".
Despite their extreme brutality, MS-13 gang members strongly fear La Sombra Negra, a paramilitary organization that exists to wipe out gangs like MS-13 and uses extreme torture methods on the gang members.
In the U.S., MS-13 has spread to 22 states, and it has grown by recruiting illegal immigrants. MS-13 has been able to enter the U.S. illegally by having its members claim they are underage. Some members of the mainstream media published articles defending the gang. A study conducted by the New Jersey Commission of Investigation found that mass deportations were most effective in countering MS-13 is New Jersey in the 1990s and 2000s.
- O'Reilly, Andrew (October 24, 2017) MS-13 spreading across US as AG Sessions vows to take down gang. Fox News. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
- MS-13: What you need to know about the Mara Salvatrucha street gang
- Binder, John (May 17, 2018). 11 Animalistic Crimes Committed Against Americans by MS-13 Gang. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
- O'Reilly, Andrew (August 2, 2017). MS-13 doesn't fear Trump, rival gangs or the police - but they are terrified of La Sombra Negra. Fox News. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
- Multiple references:
- Bedard, Paul (February 21, 2018). MS-13 spreads to 22 states, fed by 300,000 illegals, DACA recipients, tied to 207 murders. Washington Examiner. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
- Dinan, Stephen (February 21, 2018). MS-13 gang members gaining numbers by recruiting illegal immigrants: Report. The Washington Times. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
- Dinan, Stephen (April 26, 2018). MS-13 members game U.S. immigration system by claiming they’re underage. The Washington Times. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
- Starr, Penny (August 11, 2018). Left-Wing Media Defend MS-13 Gangs: ‘American Problem,’ Hurting Other Immigrants. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
- Binder, John (December 21, 2018). Study: Mass Deportations Deter MS-13 Gang Expansion in U.S. Breitbart News. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- What is MS-13, the violent gang Trump vowed to target? Fox News. July 28, 2017.
- Murders, metal pipes and baseball bats: How MS-13 is infiltrating one of NYC's most populous boroughs, by Greg Norman of Fox News, February 6, 2019.