MS13 News

Fleeing Gang Violence, El Salvador Migrants Head South

Fleeing Gang Violence, El Salvador Migrants Head South

A new report says an increasing number of Central Americans are fleeing south to escape gang violence and seeking asylum in Costa Rica, a dynamic which may be linked to the stepped-up deportations of migrants by the United States. 

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MS13

MS13

The Mara Salvatrucha, or MS13, is perhaps the most notorious street gang in the Western Hemisphere. While it has its origins in the poor, refugee-laden neighborhoods of 1980s Los Angeles, the gang’s reach now extends from Central American nations like El Salvador and through Mexico, the United States, and Canada. They rob, extort and bully their way into neighborhoods and have gradually turned to transnational crimes such as human smuggling and drug trafficking. Their activities have helped make the Northern Triangle -- Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras -- the most violent place in the world that is not at war. In October 2012, the US Department of the Treasury labeled the group a "transnational criminal organization," the first such designation for a US street gang. 

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