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)
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
We just got the Sport model of the EPIKGO hoverboard at my office. Besides being terribly chic, it’s apparently bulletproof.
Ok, it’s not just solar powered. It’s also an anti-theft, waterproof marvel that keeps my phone’s power bar from ever getting into the red.Sure the idea seems obvious now – tuck a gigantic solar powered battery pack into an exposed slot and turn the wearer into a walking energy harvester. Simple maybe, but I didn’t […]
Thread count isn’t like one of those deceiving metrics like camera megapixels or Facebook friends—more threads are always better if you can afford them. If price was no object, we would all be snoozing soundly bundled up in 1.8 kilo-thread sheets every single night. Guess what? Price doesn’t have to be an object with this […]
Maybe it’s entirely because of podcast ads, but drag-and-drop tools like Squarespace have gotten immensely popular in recent years. While it’s definitely a great tool for any non-coders who want to get a small website up and running quickly, managing content with a primarily visual interface can become a pain once you have more than […]
When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]