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Case Against El Salvador’s MS13 Reveals State Role in Gang’s Growth

Case Against El Salvador’s MS13 Reveals State Role in Gang’s Growth

A massive operation that has bared the finances of El Salvador’s Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) gang offers compelling evidence of a long suspected theory: government benefits extended to the country’s gang leaders in connection with a 2012-2013 truce were used to strengthen their criminal organizations. 

Gangs Find Common Ground in El Salvador Crackdown

Gangs Find Common Ground in El Salvador Crackdown

El Salvador’s three main gangs have moved toward forming a common front with a coordinating committee and a nonaggression pact that prohibits the invasion of other gangs’ territories and kill missions targeting members of rival gangs.

El Salvador Govt Turns Blind Eye to Its Own Deals with Gangs

El Salvador Govt Turns Blind Eye to Its Own Deals with Gangs

El Salvador's government is attempting to legally bury any remnant of an old, officially-mediated truce between the country's two biggest gangs, seemingly oblivious to its own dealings with the MS13 and Barrio 18.

El Salvador Arrests Officials As Gang Truce Investigation Escalates

El Salvador Arrests Officials As Gang Truce Investigation Escalates

Authorities in El Salvador have arrested public officials and mediators accused of acting illegally to facilitate a controversial and now defunct gang truce, raising the question of how far -- and how high -- the investigation into the deal will go. 

Criminal Truces in Latin America: The Ultimate Catch-22

Criminal Truces in Latin America: The Ultimate Catch-22

A recent report examining the effect of criminal truces in Latin America is both promising and discouraging; although we have the tools to bring a measure of peace to the underworld, they are hard for most governments to swallow and can lead to even more violence down the road. 

Whether it is sustainable or not, the truce -- which the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the Barrio 18 put into place March 2012 -- has changed the conventional thinking about who the gangs are and what is the best way to handle the most difficult law and order issue in the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.