SSI: MS-13 Leadership: Networks of Influence

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From the introduction of the article by John P. Sullivan and Samuel Logan, published in ‘The Counter Terrorist,’ a magazine produced by the organization Security Solutions International.

Mara Salvatrucha-13 (MS-13) has morphed into a complex, transnational network. Formed on the streets of Los Angeles’ Rampart and Pico-Union barrios in the 1980s by immigrants fl eeing civil war in El Salvador, MS-13 originally called itself the “Mara Salvatrucha Stoners.”

It emphasized friendship and partying, and the members protected one another from the other Hispanic gangs that bullied them (Logan, 2009). From its foundation as a turf-oriented street gang, it has morphed into a potent, brutal, transnational criminal organization.

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