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MS-13 Quickfacts

May 10, 2005
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MS-13 Quickfacts

PoliceOne Report
  • MS-13 is believed to have established a major smuggling center just south of Brownsville, Texas, in Matamoros, Mexico.
  • “Green light” – The phrase the means the gang has approved a killing.
  • A national task force – including the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the criminal-enterprise branch of the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) – has been created to deal with MS-13 nationally. Robert Clifford is the head of the force.
  • Newsweek said the gang’s name came from when the members decided to “band together in a mara, or "posse," composed of salvatruchas, or "street-tough Salvadorans" (the "13" is a gang number associated with southern California)” in order to deal with the dangerous Mexian gangs they faced in Los Angeles.
  • MS-13 is believed to operate in 31 states and six countries
Sources: The New York Times, The Washington Post, Newsweek

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