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)
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Black Friday Mac Bundle 2.0 is one of the Boing Boing Store’s best-selling Mac bundles yet, and it’s about to come to an end. If you don’t get your copy now, here’s what you’ll be missing:This bundle comes packing 9 top-rated Mac apps in one package, at the hugely discounted price of just $23.99. […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]