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Just how dangerous is MS 13?

The_Penguin

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This was a pretty interesting series.

Part 1:
YouTube - Ross Kemp on gangs: El Salvador - MS13 1/6

Part 2:
YouTube - Ross Kemp on gangs: El Salvador - MS13 2/6

Part 3:
YouTube - Ross Kemp on gangs: El Salvador - MS13 3/6

Part 4:
YouTube - Ross Kemp on gangs: El Salvador - MS13 4/6

Part 5:
YouTube - Ross Kemp on gangs: El Salvador - MS13 5/6

Part 6:
YouTube - Ross Kemp on gangs: El Salvador - MS13 6/6

The flow of drugs from that country is not going to stop (whether they produce the stuff or just act as the transit). However, in video #4, an interesting observation is made. The gangs aren't living the high-life. If they had access to millions of dollars, little shanties would not be their residences. It wouldn't surprise me if politicians in suits made the really big calls.

[edit]

Just to be clear, yes, they're dangerous and murderous. But the question is whether they are capable of such strategic and international reach. Punks with guns tend to operate on a more local level than across nations.
 
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Hoplite

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MS13 is a serious problem in the US because of the violence level that most MS13 member gangs are willing to go to. They make a name for themselves with sheer violence. I remember reading about a young woman who had been dating an MS13 member and she broke up with him. He cut her throat so deep her head was almost separated from her body. This kind of overkill for minor things is a hallmark of MS13 and something they use to help bolster their reputation.

A big problem is a lot of people want gang members deported if they're here illegally. Except the problem that deportation has caused is it's taken hardcore gang members and sent them back home to recruit more people who will then come to the US. In effect, deportation is actually making the problem worse.


MS13 may have the brutality down, but if you want a really scary barrio group, take a look at La Eme, or the Mexican Mafia. Something a lot of people dont realize is that La Eme itself is principally a prison gang of only a couple hundred people, mostly in the Southern California and Arizona prison system, but also has dozens of smaller gangs that have all sworn service to the smaller core of La Eme. If you see a gang tag with "M" or "13" in or attached to it, it's a gang that answers to the Mexican Mafia. La Eme is much scarier on a simple power level than MS13 because La Eme has ties with the Aryan Brotherhood, Surenos, Nazi Lowriders, and the Tijuana Cartel, among hundreds of others. Both in prison and out, the leaders can get to pretty much anybody on the street and the leadership is basically unbreakable. The prisons they are in are usually filled with a majority La Eme or it's allies and they're already in jail, usually serving life sentences, so there's really nowhere else to go.

Which gets interesting in prison because La Eme and the Sureneos (as well as the Aryan Brotherhood) often get sent to San Quentin in California which was the birthplace of the Black Guerrilla Family. La Eme and BGF are blood rivals and BGF has on it's side, among others, the Blood and Crips who are centered mainly in LA and New York and, interestingly enough, the Wah Ching. BGF is one of the few primarily black gangs to have a handshake deal with a Chinese gang.


The Latin Kings are also a fun bunch, they're supposed to be the largest and best organized street gang in the US and their followers tend to be much more ardent, taking their membership to almost religious heights, than other gangs. Latin Kings are more prevalent on the East Coast (Chicago and New York) than here in California so I'm not too familiar with them.
 

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I find it amazingly disturbing how tolerant the USA is with gangs. We just let them roam the streets.

It's like turning loose a pack of angry wolves in a daycare and just waiting for each one to try and eat a kid before we attempt to step in.

It's too big for the police, imo. I think we should combat gangs militarily to retard the growth and recruitment of gangs like MS 13. For all intent and purpose, these gangs are virtually like al-Quaeda or Hamas.
 
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ReverendHellh0und

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They are not a bother to me... However the Good Reverend lives in a rich neighborhood so we don't have that type. :shrug:
 

The_Penguin

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MS13 is a serious problem in the US because of the violence level that most MS13 member gangs are willing to go to. They make a name for themselves with sheer violence. I remember reading about a young woman who had been dating an MS13 member and she broke up with him. He cut her throat so deep her head was almost separated from her body. This kind of overkill for minor things is a hallmark of MS13 and something they use to help bolster their reputation.
Yes, they're incredibly violent. But that's not my argument. Look at the pure volume of drugs coming into this country, is this the result of MS-13 (for the most part)? I doubt this. I think that there are more than a few corrupt government officials in Central America that aid in this trade.
I find it amazingly disturbing how tolerant the USA is with gangs. We just let them roam the streets.
Oh no, throw the book at them. I'm talking here about the bigger picture.
It's too big for the police, imo. I think we should combat gangs militarily to retard the growth and recruitment of gangs like MS 13.
Posse Comitatus doesn't let you. That and there are multiple legal hurdles that'll need to be cleared.
For all intent and purpose, these gangs are virtually like al-Quaeda or Hamas.
I doubt this. AQ has international reach and strategic capability (or at least has been shown to be capable of this), Hamas smuggles weapons and relies heavily on aid from 'donations', MS-13 doesn't look like it has the ability to organize and co-ordinate any serious operations beyond the borders of El Salvador on a consistent basis.
 

Hoplite

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Yes, they're incredibly violent. But that's not my argument. Look at the pure volume of drugs coming into this country, is this the result of MS-13 (for the most part)? I doubt this. I think that there are more than a few corrupt government officials in Central America that aid in this trade.
MS13 isnt responsible for the vast majority of the drug trade. They add to it, but there are half a dozen cartels from San Diego to Buenos Aires that funnel drugs into the US. Not to mention the booming opium trade originating out of places like Afghanistan and the Golden Triangle in Asia.
 

The_Penguin

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MS13 isnt responsible for the vast majority of the drug trade. They add to it, but there are half a dozen cartels from San Diego to Buenos Aires that funnel drugs into the US. Not to mention the booming opium trade originating out of places like Afghanistan and the Golden Triangle in Asia.
Cool, we're beginning to see more eye to eye :) . But to add to your statement, I believe that national governments directly/indirectly add to this problem. Whether it's ignoring it or aiding it in some means. In that case using our intelligence services to infiltrate these organizations, exposing the corruption and confronting the officials directly (holding club in hand, ofcourse) would be a better approach.
 

Hoplite

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Most of these governments are dealing with a volatile situation at home, lack of resources to deal with narcoterrorism in their own countries, lack of international cooperation, and corruption at the local level. US narcotics problems are simply not their problem and I dont really blame them for not caring.
 

The_Penguin

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Most of these governments are dealing with a volatile situation at home, lack of resources to deal with narcoterrorism in their own countries, lack of international cooperation, and corruption at the local level. US narcotics problems are simply not their problem and I dont really blame them for not caring.
Fine, aid them. Give them an opportunity to relieve pressure at home in some form, etc. Some, yes, are overwhelmed and prioritize things. But I'd be willing to bet that there's far more to it than just that. I'd be surprised if some were not profitting in some form from this trade. That's where we take out the club :) .
 

Hoplite

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Fine, aid them. Give them an opportunity to relieve pressure at home in some form, etc. Some, yes, are overwhelmed and prioritize things. But I'd be willing to bet that there's far more to it than just that. I'd be surprised if some were not profitting in some form from this trade. That's where we take out the club :) .
Can you blame a country with a GDP half that of Wyoming? What we need is to give countries and groups that ARE benefiting from the drug trade enough of a benefit from somewhere else that they stop.

That means greater international trade, assistance funding for foreign DEA-equivalent agencies, etc etc
 

Catz Part Deux

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MS13 is a serious problem in the US because of the violence level that most MS13 member gangs are willing to go to. They make a name for themselves with sheer violence. I remember reading about a young woman who had been dating an MS13 member and she broke up with him. He cut her throat so deep her head was almost separated from her body. This kind of overkill for minor things is a hallmark of MS13 and something they use to help bolster their reputation.

A big problem is a lot of people want gang members deported if they're here illegally. Except the problem that deportation has caused is it's taken hardcore gang members and sent them back home to recruit more people who will then come to the US. In effect, deportation is actually making the problem worse.
MS13 may have the brutality down, but if you want a really scary barrio group, take a look at La Eme, or the Mexican Mafia. Something a lot of people dont realize is that La Eme itself is principally a prison gang of only a couple hundred people, mostly in the Southern California and Arizona prison system, but also has dozens of smaller gangs that have all sworn service to the smaller core of La Eme. If you see a gang tag with "M" or "13" in or attached to it, it's a gang that answers to the Mexican Mafia. La Eme is much scarier on a simple power level than MS13 because La Eme has ties with the Aryan Brotherhood, Surenos, Nazi Lowriders, and the Tijuana Cartel, among hundreds of others. Both in prison and out, the leaders can get to pretty much anybody on the street and the leadership is basically unbreakable. The prisons they are in are usually filled with a majority La Eme or it's allies and they're already in jail, usually serving life sentences, so there's really nowhere else to go.

Which gets interesting in prison because La Eme and the Sureneos (as well as the Aryan Brotherhood) often get sent to San Quentin in California which was the birthplace of the Black Guerrilla Family. La Eme and BGF are blood rivals and BGF has on it's side, among others, the Blood and Crips who are centered mainly in LA and New York and, interestingly enough, the Wah Ching. BGF is one of the few primarily black gangs to have a handshake deal with a Chinese gang.


The Latin Kings are also a fun bunch, they're supposed to be the largest and best organized street gang in the US and their followers tend to be much more ardent, taking their membership to almost religious heights, than other gangs. Latin Kings are more prevalent on the East Coast (Chicago and New York) than here in California so I'm not too familiar with them.
Eme has lost a lot of juice as most of the heavy hitters are currently incarcerated. The M is almost never used by Surenos sets. M in Los Angeles stands for the Maravilla sets, who have a deep antipathy towards Eme. There are around 18 different Maravilla sets, the largest of which is Marianna Maravilla. La Eme put a greenlight (shoot on sight) order on Maravilla during the 1990s for refusing to pay taxes on drug distribution to Eme.

Surenos isn't a single gang, it is a type of gang. There are hundreds of different Surenos (or Surenos imitating) sets around the U.S., many of which don't get along, and most of which have zero ties to Southern California. Eme is not a “barrio” set, they’re a prison gang, and their primary influence is in the California prison system, and not on the street. California Surenos gang members often graduate into Eme when they are incarcerated as adults. Eme hardly exists outside of California.

Eme has some level of influence on the streets because so many Surenos gang members graduate into Eme. However, their influence is nowhere near what it used to be.

BGF hasn't been a major factor on the street since the 1980s. In fact, they barely even exist anymore. Northern Structure is the prison gang that most blood/crip gangs are affiliated with in prison. These groups exist primarily in prison, and gang members graduate into membership when they go to prison, on the basis of race. However, Northern Structure and/or BGF exercise little influence on the street.

Wah Ching is a Chinese organized crime group that operates primarily in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the Asian community.

Blood and Crip gangs are found nationwide, though most are completely unrelated, even if they share the same names. There are an estimated 30,000+ Crips around the U.S.

MS 13 is a huge problem in Central America, and definitely causes problems in certain localities around the U.S., but is nowhere near as large as gangs like 18th Street that has 20+ different localized sets in Los Angeles alone, and an estimated 50,000 members nationwide. 18th Street is equally problematic in Central America.

The New York LK’s and the Chicago LK’s are two separate entities. Most of the LK sets on the east coast are tied in some way to the New York branch. Other than that, most LKs are in the Midwest. There are very few of them elsewhere, although small sets of LKs with little or no connection to the Midwest or NY kings have been identified around the U.S.

Your post is full of inaccuracies.

Here's an article that overviews the FBI's threat assessment on MS-13: http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/1410

If you are in law enforcement, I’d advise taking a class from your state gang investigators association. Feel free to contact me off the board and I can give you some suggestions.
 
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Cold Highway

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Loosing gun laws, can fix the gang problem really quick. I would also like to add that the reason focus is on MS 13 is because of immigration. The Bloods, Crips, Latin Kings, various Vietnamese gangs have been around for decades and no one really gave a **** its because illegal immigration became a front issue is when there was an all of sudden giving a damm about gangs.
 
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Hoplite

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Eme has lost a lot of juice as most of the heavy hitters are currently incarcerated. The M is almost never used by Surenos sets. M in Los Angeles stands for the Maravilla sets, who have a deep antipathy towards Eme. There are around 18 different Maravilla sets, the largest of which is Marianna Maravilla. La Eme put a greenlight (shoot on sight) order on Maravilla during the 1990s for refusing to pay taxes on drug distribution to Eme.
The vast majority of the Surenos either answer to or are allied with La Eme.

As for Marianna Maravilla, the Maravilla in general use "MV" while the Marianna Maravilla specifically use the MVP tag. The Maravilla sets are something of a loose cannon as far as La Eme is concerned, but there is, what, 20 Maravilla sets in LA? The Surenos alone cover 20 states. Maravilla is NOT a big player, not in LA.

Surenos isn't a single gang, it is a type of gang. There are thousands of different Surenos sets around the U.S., many of which don't get along, and many of which have zero ties to Southern California. Eme is not a “barrio” set, they’re a prison gang, and their primary influence is in the prison system, and not on the street. Surenos gang members often graduate into Eme when they are incarcerated as adults.
La Eme came out of the Chicano gang members incarcerated at Deuel up in Tracy. It has it's roots in the barrio gangs.

True, the Surenos is a type of gang, but there are hundreds of different sets in LA county that will answer to Sureno.

La Eme has influence on the street through the Surenos and, to a limited extent, Aryan Brotherhood and other white supremacist groups (Crippling irony in that if you think about it)

Eme has some level of influence on the streets because so many Surenos gang members graduate into Eme. However, their influence is nowhere near what it used to be.
I STRONGLY disagree. The Surenos have become more fragmented, but many of them still answer to La Eme.

BGF hasn't been a major factor on the street since the 1980s. In fact, they barely even exist anymore. Northern Structure is the prison gang that most blood/crip gangs are affiliated with in prison. These groups exist primarily in prison, and gang members graduate into membership when they go to prison, on the basis of race. However, Northern Structure and/or BGF exercise little influence on the street.
BGF is still estimated to be about 10-20,000 strong. That's low for a gang but they are still active inside the prison systems. I never claimed otherwise.

Wah Ching is a Chinese organized crime group that operates primarily in Los Angeles and San Francisco in the Asian community.
....ok....thats...basically what I said.

Blood and Crip gangs are found nationwide, though most are completely unrelated, even if they share the same names. There are an estimated 30,000+ Crips around the U.S.
There are ideological differences between East and West coast Bloods and Crips that has to be recognized.

MS 13 is a huge problem in Central America, and definitely causes problems in certain localities around the U.S., but is nowhere near as large as gangs like 18th Street that has 20+ different localized sets in Los Angeles alone, and an estimated 50,000 members nationwide. 18th Street is equally problematic in Central America.
This I do agree with.

The New York LK’s and the Chicago LK’s are two separate entities. Most of the LK sets on the east coast are tied in some way to the New York branch. Other than that, most LKs are in the Midwest. There are very few of them elsewhere, although small sets of LKs with little or no connection to the Midwest or NY kings have been identified around the U.S.
Again, Latin Kings are outside my area.

Your post is full of inaccuracies.
I"ve spent my life in LA and been looking at gangs most of my adult life in a primarily Hispanic area, I dont know what to tell you.
 
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Catz Part Deux

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The vast majority of the Surenos either answer to or are allied with La Eme.
In Southern Cal, maybe, but in the rest of the U.S., no, they don't. Eme has little power or influence outside of California, and is only estimated by prison officials to have around 2k members. There are plenty of SUR sets in Northern Cali that don't answer to Eme at all.

As for Marianna Maravilla, the Maravilla in general use "MV" while the Marianna Maravilla specifically use the MVP tag. The Maravilla sets are something of a loose cannon as far as La Eme is concerned, but there is, what, 20 Maravilla sets in LA? The Surenos alone cover 20 states. Maravilla is NOT a big player, not in LA.
What Surenos sets, specifically, use the M to identify with the Eme? You made the claim. They may use the number 13, which represents the letter M (13th letter of the alphabet), but they don't use the letter M. I've seen them use Rifa, Rifamos, Locos, Locotes,

La Eme came out of the Chicano gang members incarcerated at Deuel up in Tracy. It has it's roots in the barrio gangs.
That's true, but a lot of the top leaders of Eme were taken out in federal indictments in 2006, and most of them are housed federally, removing their ability to control the activities of Eme in state prisons. Primera Flats, Quatro Flats, are no more. Those housing projects were cleaned out. Florencia claims 13 (for the letter M) but fights routinely with 18th Street and Clanton Street, which are both also Surenos. Gangs may use the number 13, but they may or may not pay fealty to Eme or even get along with other SUR sets. You're generalizing incorrectly here based upon outdated information. Even old standbys of Eme like AVES have been decimated by massive sweeps that have arrested and incarcerated up to 25% of the members of the gang.

True, the Surenos is a type of gang, but there are hundreds of different sets in LA county that will answer to Sureno.
HUNDREDS? LMFAO. Dozens, maybe. And dozens that are Latino gangs but fight with SUR Trece gangs.

La Eme has influence on the street through the Surenos and, to a limited extent, Aryan Brotherhood and other white supremacist groups (Crippling irony in that if you think about it)
That's a prison affiliation, not a street affiliation. AB has little control or influence in Los Angeles neighborhoods.

I STRONGLY disagree. The Surenos have become more fragmented, but many of them still answer to La Eme.
Some do, some don't. Even if they do, SUR is far from a cohesive affiliation. The SUR sets are territorial and fight amongst themselves on a regular basis. See above.

BGF is still estimated to be about 10-20,000 strong. That's low for a gang but they are still active inside the prison systems. I never claimed otherwise.
Estimated by whom? Please feel free to provide a source.

....ok....thats...basically what I said.
NO, it isn't. You stated that BGF had a powerful Wah Ching connection. That's ridiculous.

There are ideological differences between East and West coast Bloods and Crips that has to be recognized.
Most crip and blood sets around the U.S. are local sets and aren't affiliated with other crips/bloods outside their local areas. UBN is a possible exception to this.


Again, Latin Kings are outside my area.
Then why in the hell are you talking about them like you know or understand them?

I"ve spent my life in LA and been looking at gangs most of my adult life in a primarily Hispanic area, I dont know what to tell you.
I spent last week in 77th/Rampart, Echo Park, and Boyle Heights working with LAPD and gang interventionists. I don't know what area you work in, or what you do for a living, but most of your information is outdated and incorrect.
 
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Deuce

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I find it amazingly disturbing how tolerant the USA is with gangs. We just let them roam the streets.

It's like turning loose a pack of angry wolves in a daycare and just waiting for each one to try and eat a kid before we attempt to step in.

It's too big for the police, imo. I think we should combat gangs militarily to retard the growth and recruitment of gangs like MS 13. For all intent and purpose, these gangs are virtually like al-Quaeda or Hamas.
Yeah screw those civil rights. We don't need things like trials or lawyers or evidence! Let's just let the Marines loose on our street with orders to shoot anyone who looks like they might have something to do with drugs!

I know you right-wingers love the authoritarian stuff but this is pretty extreme.
 
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The_Penguin

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Can you blame a country with a GDP half that of Wyoming? What we need is to give countries and groups that ARE benefiting from the drug trade enough of a benefit from somewhere else that they stop.

That means greater international trade, assistance funding for foreign DEA-equivalent agencies, etc etc
Yup, and I'm in favor of that. Infrastructure will also be necessary. If you build roads (many of them) into the jungles of Colombia, the piss-poor farmers now have a way to get their goods to other markets. Now, if you give them an incentive to start growing bananas or papaya, you'll see changes in what they produce.
 
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