Latest News: Posts Tagged ‘MS-13’

“When the MS-13 Played Possum in Guatemala” — A YEAR INSIDE MS-13 author Juan José Martínez d´Aubuisson writes for InSight Crime

Thursday, February 10th, 2022

“The MS-13 has opted for what he calls the ‘possum strategy.’ Move in silence, in the shadows, and play dead in the face of danger. And once the threat has passed, keep on going. As an evolutionary strategy, it’s not the most honorable or something that inspires tall tales. But one thing is certain. No hunter cares about having the head of a possum displayed on the wall.”

Read the full article here.

“The Omnipresent Business of the MS-13” — A YEAR INSIDE MS-13 author Juan José Martínez d´Aubuisson writes for InSight Crime

Saturday, January 29th, 2022

“When strolling through Las Margaritas, a neighborhood of over 15,000 people in the city of Soyapango, El Salvador, crossing paths with the MS13 is all but assured. There, almost all facets of daily life are linked to the gang in one way or another.

If someone wants to buy the most essential of items, such as gasoline, they must go through the MS13, which distributes tanks full of fuel to local shops. If they want bread, the gang also provides, from one of at least three MS13 bakeries in the community. There are other bakeries, of course, but they buy their flour exclusively from the gang.

The same goes for public transport. If someone wants to leave Las Margaritas but does not have a car, they have just two options: use a taxi belonging to the gang or board a bus on one of two routes out, both systematically extorted by the MS13.”

Read the full article here.

“How MS-13 Became Lords of the Trash Dump in Honduras” — A YEAR INSIDE MS-13 author Juan José Martínez d´Aubuisson writes for InSight Crime

Monday, January 24th, 2022

“The MS13 dominates this trash site, as it does hundreds of neighborhoods and towns in Honduras. It has become a shadow government, implementing its own laws, rules and taxes, which Hondurans must respect as much as the official ones.

The leaders of this colossal structure have been pursued and prosecuted by the Honduran and American governments. Alias ‘Porky,’ the foremost MS13 leader in Honduras, has a $100,000 reward on his head following his audacious escape from a courthouse in the north of the country.

Under Porky’s rule, the MS13 has become a highly diverse criminal and social enterprise. Its members could be fighting to the death against teenagers from small, local gangs. Or they might be brokering deals with drug traffickers or high-ranking government officials. Its range of adversaries is broad: kids with guns on one side, US agents on the other.”

Read the full article here.

“See, hear, and shut up” is the strict gang protocol, subject to severe sanction. D’Aubuisson saw and heard, but did not shut up.” —an interview with Juan Jose Martinez d’Aubuisson , author of A Year Inside MS-13, in The Independent

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

I spent a year with MS-13 and lived to tell the tale

It was Juan Jose Martinez d’Aubuisson’s first day as tutor to a bunch of young kids in El Salvador. To break the ice he decided to play a game with them. Off the top of his head he came up with cops and robbers. They had to split up into groups. It didn’t go too well because they all wanted to be robbers.

Read the full interview here.

“The depictions of MS-13 as animals are as simplistic as they are dehumanizing. And they obscure what spawned the violent gang in the first place: US imperialism.” —Belén Fernández, author of EXILE, reviews A YEAR INSIDE MS-13 for Jacobin

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

The US Created MS-13

Last year, Donald Trump’s administration issued a press release titled “What You Need To Know About The Violent Animals Of MS-13,” the El Salvador–based transnational gang. The dispatch deployed the term “animals” an additional nine times in its explanation of how Mara Salvatrucha “follows the motto of ‘kill, rape, control’ by committing shocking acts of violence in an attempt to instill fear and gain control.”

Considering this motto could also apply to the past many decades of US military intervention worldwide, it seems there might be More Important Things You Need To Know about transnational violence — like the United States’s role in the rise of MS-13 itself.

Read the full review here.

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