We often hear about the notorious street gang MS-13. Some politicians make it sound as if they are a danger in all corners of the country. In many ways, they are concentrated in and around Los Angeles and local elements do, from time to time, have impact elsewhere in the country. In fact, their most deadly manifestation can be seen in Central America. Yet to most Americans we know little about their origins or their intentions. In this podcast featuring Steven Dudley, co-founder of InSight Crime, a think tank devoted to organized crime and corruption in the Americas, and author of ‘MS-13’, we explore how they formed, their methods of operation and who falls out of favor with the group and may be the subject of their brutality of choice, the use of the machete. The gang formed in the the 1980’s as many El Salvadorans escaped guerrilla assaults and death squads in their own country and re-settled in America. What began as a social network bound by heavy metal music and their Salvadoran identity morphed into a group that took on a much harder edge. But are they really the most dangerous of the gangs with which we may be more familiar? We discuss all things MS-13 with him today.
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