Maria Aurich and Berenice Rosas
History of MS13
In the U.S., the MS-13 has an especially heavy presence in the Los Angeles county ,the Washgton, D.C. metropolitan areas of Fairfax County, Virginia, Montgomery County, Maryland, and Prince George's County, Maryland; Long Island, New York; the Boston, Massachusetts area; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Houston, Texas. There is also a presence of MS-13 in Toronto, Ontario. Gang members, who sport numerous tattoos on their bodies and faces, wear blue and white colors taken from the El Salvadoran flag. Their membership is estimated to total over 36,000 in the Honduras alone. Members typically range in age from 11 to 40 years old.
History of the Leader
Contact with the law
"Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, continues to expand its influence in the United States. FBI investigations reveal that it is present in almost every state and continues to grow its membership, now targeting younger recruits more than ever before.
To counteract this growth, the FBI formed the MS-13 National Gang Task Force in December 2004. Based at FBI Headquarters, this intelligence-driven task force combines the expertise, resources, and jurisdiction of federal agencies that investigate this violent international street gang. It focuses on maximizing the flow of information and intelligence, coordinating investigations nationally and internationally, and helping state and local law enforcement improve operations and prosecutions targeting MS-13." said Director Muller from the FBI.
"If I had stayed in Guatemala, members of the Salvatrucha gang would have killed me. I’ve seen them hit people with baseball bats and shoot them. I know they kill people. I know that if I go back to Guatemala they will torture me. They will kill me if I go back to Guatemala. They will kill me because I left the gang."
On March 10, 2004, Edgar was released from jail and deported. On March 20, 2004, 10 days after he was deported, Edgar was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds. He had hidden in his home for 10 days and eventually left the confines of his house when his grandmother had unexpectedly died. He barely made it 5 blocks from his home before members found him and delivered the punishment that was deemed appropriate for his deserting the gang. Death is almost always the only means of escaping the clutches of MS-13.
Jose “Fantasma” Delgado, 28, of Lawrenceville, was sentenced to 12 years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to racketeering charges involving murder as a member of Mara Salvatrucha-13.
“MS-13 is a ruthless street gang that used violence to spread fear through Gwinnett, DeKalb and Fulton Counties,” acting U.S. Attorney John Horn said in a news release. “While the gang preyed mostly on other rival gang members, this case demonstrates the tragic violence that harmed innocent citizens when the gang’s activities spilled out into the community.”