Representatives of three US federal law enforcement agencies were unable to offer the Senate Judiciary Committee any conclusive evidence of links (beyond isolated cases) between groups of unaccompanied minors who arrived in the United States since 2012 and the recent increase in crimes attributed to the MS13 gang in several cities around the country.
The Barrio 18 gang in El Salvador allegedly engaged in large-scale extortion of a community water management project, underscoring flaws in the government's claims that security is improving across the country.
A wave of attacks against relatives of El Salvador's security forces serves as a reminder of gangs' willingness and ability to use targeted violence, but the spike in these killings contrasts with an overall trend of decreasing homicides in the Central American country.
Hip hop culture has long been associated with gangs, violence and vandalism. But a wide range of actors in Latin America are attempting to work past longstanding biases and challenges to experiment with these art forms as alternatives for at-risk youths who might otherwise engage in criminal activity.