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Mara Salvatrucha

The Mara Salvatrucha 13 gang was formed by Ernesto Miranda and Julio Cesar in 1980 as a means of defense against Los Angeles street gangs. Today, the Mara Salvatrucha 13 gang is known as the MS-13 gang and is recognized as a growing transnational, organized gang whose territory stretches across the United States and into Central America and is one of the most dangerous gangs in the United States.

The MS-13 gang name originates from the street La Mara in San Salvador and the Salvatrucha guerillas who fought in El Salvador’s Civil War (1981–1992). During the Salvadorian Civil War, children as young as 14 years of age were inducted either into the Salvatrucha guerilla or government forces. Some of the children inducted into the Salvatrucha guerillas ...

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