Foreign Policy Magazine's roundup of the world's most dangerous gangs kind of stretches the definition of "gang" -- 100,000 armed men, operating in the open with impunity? I'm thinking "army," not gang.
Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), United States and Central America
Membership: 70,000 worldwide (60,000 in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico, plus 10,000 in 42 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.)
Stronghold: Central America and U.S. suburbs
Known for: elaborate tattoos (which makes ending gang membership almost impossible), suburban bloodshed, and a loose but widespread network of subsidiary groups, perfect for disseminating drugs and brutal violence
Why they’re dangerous: The MS-13 grew out of a posse (mara) of street-tough Salvadorans (Salvatruchas) who fled to Southern California in the 1980s in the wake of El Salvador’s bloody civil war. With each new wave of vulnerable immigrants from Central America, MS-13 grew in strength and breadth, forming a lose cohort of semiautonomous subsidiary gangs across the United States and Central America. Though their hallmark tattoos and violent outbursts dot North America, analysts are still uncertain just how interconnected the maras really are. In the United States, the strongest maras are based in Southern California, the northeast, and the mid-Atlantic, including the Washington, D.C., metro area. Just last spring, Salvatruchas hacked away at a rival gang member in the D.C. suburb of Alexandria, Virginia. But U.S. maras are nothing compared with their counterparts further south. Fueled by gang members deported from the States, maras in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala terrorize police and residents in hundreds of communities across the region.
(via Beyond the Beyond
(Image: Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images)
David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]
The Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones are far more than your run of the mill Bluetooth earbuds. While the earpiece design makes these earbuds ideal for exercise and activity, and passive noise cancelling is conducive to a more serene listening experience, these buds go well beyond just playing music.First of all, they can actually […]