skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 228135 Find in a Library
Title: MS-13: A Gang Profile
Journal: Journal of Gang Research  Volume:16  Issue:4  Dated:Summer 2009  Pages:1-14
Author(s): Jennifer J. Adams; Jesenia M. Pizarro
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 14
Publisher: http://www.ngcrc.com 
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This profile of the MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha 13) gang addresses its origin, gang-member characteristics, organization, criminality, and criminal justice polices that have targeted MS-13.
Abstract: MS-13 was formed by Salvadoran immigrants that came to the United States in order to escape the civil war in their home country. Some of its members were trained in guerilla warfare and the use of military weapons. The gang is well-organized and is heavily involved in lucrative illegal enterprises, being notorious for its use of violence to achieve its objectives. Fear and intimidation are used in extorting payments from any legitimate or illegitimate business owners for the right to conduct their business in MS-13 territory. MS-13 members have been involved in rapes and witness intimidation. In addition to local crimes, MS-13 is known to participate in numerous transnational crimes; for example, they are involved in the illegal trafficking of stolen vehicles from the United States to Central America. They also participate in weapon smuggling and illegal firearm sales. They are believed to be a major retail distributor of drugs in Houston. MS-13 also has theft crews traveling across the United States, stealing over-the-counter medications from retail stores that are then sold in the illegal market. There have also been reports of MS-13’s involvement in human smuggling. In 2004, the FBI created the MS-13 National Gang Task Force, which coordinates cooperation among local and State law enforcement agencies, including facilitation in the flow of information among these agencies in order to dismantle MS-13. Other strategies involve the deportation of MS-13 members to their home countries. This effort, however, has exacerbated the gang problem by fueling its international proliferation. 23 references and 4 figures
Main Term(s): Gangs
Index Term(s): El Salvador; Gang violence; Hispanic gangs; Juvenile gang behavior patterns; Juvenile/Youth Gangs
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=250152

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.