Status Quo on MS-13

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Status Quo on MS-13

Mica
There is a flood of news stories on how MS-13 has literally taken over part of the northeast in the USA. Anyone have any idea how they have become so dominant, if not why is this bipartisan story making so much news?  Do they play a part in Mexico?
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Re: Status Quo on MS-13

Tacuache
MS-13 is just a gang.  Granted probably a little more violent than others but still a gang.  You and 3 of your buddies walking down the street technically are a gang.  Come chill in the south side of chicago. You'll see some gangs.  

I digress.  Mara-salvatrucha was a Salvadorian gang that came about from the gangs in LA.  They wanted to protect themselves against the other gangs but ended up morphing in something a little different.  MS is as I said before.  13 is for the M as in Mexican mafia.  They kinda took over the gang.  They say in prison that gangs (bloods, crips, kings, etc) are a nuisance.  Only the black gorrillas, nazis, and the mexican mafia matter in prison.  Separated by race of course.  Nothing else matters.

Going back to MS-13.  They are pretty much knuckle heads, but I wouldn't want to fight with one of them.  They care little of their lives, much less yours.  For whatever reason they brainwashed into believe that is their life.  My 2 cents.  I've seen dudes like that around.

FYI, gangs are american.  They started in the northeast prison system.  Gangs were something foreign to spanish speaking people, now they are the plague that has ruined several countries.  Thus you get people leaving el salvador and ending on you door steps.  Not to be an ass, but it literally is america's fault. Take it with a grain of salt or whatnot.  My opinion mostly.
J
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Re: Status Quo on MS-13

J
In reply to this post by Mica
Sessions has said he considers Ms-13 a terrorist group....

They basically formed in LA, then many were deported, and began to terrorize El Salvador, and Honduras, I believe.  They specialize in extortion, all other rackets are low level.  They deal drugs at a limited retail level.  

In the US it's extortion, robbery, and prostitution.  They are too violent, too unstable to traffic drugs at a significant scale.  They are a hyper violent street gang with limited international ties, due to the fact they are strongest in Central America.  

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/world/americas/el-salvador-drugs-gang-ms-13.html

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Re: Status Quo on MS-13

Mexico-Watcher
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Tacuache
Tacuache wrote
MS-13 is just a gang.  Granted probably a little more violent than others but still a gang.  You and 3 of your buddies walking down the street technically are a gang.  Come chill in the south side of chicago. You'll see some gangs.  

I digress.  Mara-salvatrucha was a Salvadorian gang that came about from the gangs in LA.  They wanted to protect themselves against the other gangs but ended up morphing in something a little different.  MS is as I said before.  13 is for the M as in Mexican mafia.  They kinda took over the gang.  They say in prison that gangs (bloods, crips, kings, etc) are a nuisance.  Only the black gorrillas, nazis, and the mexican mafia matter in prison.  Separated by race of course.  Nothing else matters.

Going back to MS-13.  They are pretty much knuckle heads, but I wouldn't want to fight with one of them.  They care little of their lives, much less yours.  For whatever reason they brainwashed into believe that is their life.  My 2 cents.  I've seen dudes like that around.

FYI, gangs are american.  They started in the northeast prison system.  Gangs were something foreign to spanish speaking people, now they are the plague that has ruined several countries.  Thus you get people leaving el salvador and ending on you door steps.  Not to be an ass, but it literally is america's fault. Take it with a grain of salt or whatnot.  My opinion mostly.
My friend: I respect Borderland Beat as a good source of valid and reliable information.  One big reason for this is that BB welcomes self correction.  You've  made a number of dead wrong and misleading assertions that may harm BB's reputation as a source of generally good information.  I ask you and interested readers to go to:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gang#History  for insights into the history of "gangs".... I think you will be pleasantly surprised by what you learn.  Thanks.

Mexico-Watcher
P.S.
IMO, I think the MS-13 gang problem is a long overdue legitimate concern for America to address.  I also believe that targeting attention on MS-13 by Trump's Administration is just "phase 1" of going for the  low-hanging fruit."   I am convinced we have reached a "tipping point" and that there will unfold a much broader "war" on prison, street, and international and domestic "gangs" in general.  IMO, racially and ethnically Balkanized, hedonistic, and criminophilic America has many kinds of gangs virtually everywhere! And they collectively cause many serious problems that cannot any longer be ignored for the misery they cause.    

 
 
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Re: Status Quo on MS-13

Tacuache
Mexico-Watcher, I completely respect your opinion.  I think you are one of the more intelligent, better well read commentators on here.  You're insights, I believe, are highly respected.  With that being said, I did stipulate that most of what I said is from my little corner of the world.  I've never been in an actual gang, but I live and grew up around the southside of chicago. Granted my opinions are biased based on my life experiences, but I'd at least like think I'm not completely spilling lies.  If I did, I would refrain from saying anything.  Again, no harm no foul. I would say though that while wikipedia might have some decent info, I would not cite them as a source.  I would expect a failing grade if I did as such.

About what I did say.  I know for a fact that while gangs can be a problem for the inner city, they little more than mostly young guys running around doing dumb sh**.  I know this because I know who they are, I see them everyday in my community.  Hell some of my friends used to be them until they grew up.  

Anyhow, if there is anything I said that was incorrect feel free comment to help me learn.
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Re: Status Quo on MS-13

Mexico-Watcher
Tacuache wrote
Mexico-Watcher, I completely respect your opinion.  I think you are one of the more intelligent, better well read commentators on here.  You're insights, I believe, are highly respected.  With that being said, I did stipulate that most of what I said is from my little corner of the world.  I've never been in an actual gang, but I live and grew up around the southside of chicago. Granted my opinions are biased based on my life experiences, but I'd at least like think I'm not completely spilling lies.  If I did, I would refrain from saying anything.  Again, no harm no foul. I would say though that while wikipedia might have some decent info, I would not cite them as a source.  I would expect a failing grade if I did as such.

About what I did say.  I know for a fact that while gangs can be a problem for the inner city, they little more than mostly young guys running around doing dumb sh**.  I know this because I know who they are, I see them everyday in my community.  Hell some of my friends used to be them until they grew up.  

Anyhow, if there is anything I said that was incorrect feel free comment to help me learn.
Tacuache:  Orale, mi amigo: Thanks for the kind words.  I love your attitude and feel we are on the way to deeper understandings of  "gangs" in the USA and elsewhere.  Big job, but worth the effort, IMO

I too grew up around and worked mostly around South West USA gangs and I from this got to know a good number of barrio gangsters.... including two family members who were deeply involved in serious "shit" during their "vida loca" years.  

About Wikipedia, don't be too hard on this nascent still maturing worldwide information phenomena.  I have found Wikipedia useful for certain purposes.... and its postings usually include good references and bibliographies that one can follow up if desired.

About gangs in general:

Gangs have been around for ages, virtually everywhere. I have even read about teenager elephants who are delinquent problems for the herd and are dealt with accordingly.  Some  scholars have pointed out that Shakespere's "Romeo and Juliette" has a youth gang rivalry element with tragic consequences.  

I have read my share of things on urban gangs.  I have also known my share of barrio gangsters.   Briefly, to me "gangs" are like the proverbial elephant that looks like the observer is trained to see.  The published literature on gangs mostly reflects a "gangs are bad" or "social problem" perspective.  We seldom get "insider" perspectives of gangs because it may not be practical, safe, or meet publication standards. Some of the best stuff in this regard comes from gangster autobiographies and from brave researchers like Charles Bowden.

Overall, to me, I think it is useful to understand gangs from "outsider" interdisciplinary perspectives and to also include as essential "insider" (ethnographic) research material for a better understandings of gangs. Katz' book "Seductions of Crime" epitomizes what I want to convey here.

Every Profession has a take on gangs and gangster:
Here is a short list of scholarly perspectives used on gangs and gangsters: sociological, psychological, social-psychological, anthropological, ethnographic, political, criminologic, journalistic, economic, penological, forensic, religious-spiritual, philosophical, romantic, artistic, statistical, demographic, linguistic, dramaturgic, pedagogical, medically, and even genetically as in the discovery of a "warrior gene" in biker gangsters' DNA.

Us Common Folks (dads, moms, voters):
Now, let us mix in "lay" perspectives on how gangs and gangsters are seen and defined....for example, gangsters themselves, parents of gangsters, parents of victims of gangsters, merchants, morticians, tattoo artists, drug and people smugglers, priests, school teachers, drug addicts, and little kids on the way to school.

============
Mix it all up and ?
True, there might be many points of professional and lay intellectual convergence and agreements ... and, of course, we can also expect disagreement and conflict.  This will impact policies designed to cure the problem.  And because of these conflicts I predict no policies will ever be perfect.  And most importantly, there will probably be  "unintended consequences".... some worse than the original problem!

I will close by making three points:
1. I think urban gangs are evil entities that play functional roles in their societal settings.... it is why they persist and spread.

2. We know much about gangs from different professional and lay perspectives and this in itself is a  "gang problem."  Question: What would happen if urban gangs were suddenly made extinct?

3. Despite living among barrio gangsters for years,  I really don't know much about them.  Of course, I have opinions and ideas but I happily stand ready to cast them off if these can be proved wrong.

Mexico-watcher



     

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Re: Status Quo on MS-13

Anon
Mexico-Watcher I agree with both you and Tacauche, but you're forgetting one perspective which he used, the legal one. Three or more individuals associating for a criminal purpose is a general legal definition of a "gang". So it's important to remember that they all really aren't one thing. For example a group like the Fresno Bulldogs have no hierarchy what so ever and are really just allied by a shared gang culture. Similarly in gangs like the crips or bloods, the level of organization and sophistication varies greatly from set to set, and there is no national organization. Again, they are really just hundreds of separate groups united by a common culture, but in the case of crips and bloods, they have no inter set loyalty, they fight amongst each other all the time, so its hard to say if the "gang" is the crips generally, or just a set from the neighborhood that happens to call themselves a crip set. Then you have gangs which are highly organized, such as the Hells Angels. They have chapters and a national governing body which oversees them. The vast majority of gangs are neighborhood based and very few meet most definitions of "organized crime", but some clearly do. Also, regional differences matter greatly. Gangs in LA are far more organized, at least historically, and the culture is much more ingrained than a place like Chicago, currently. Historically Chicago's gangs were highly organized, but today, they are not at all. Then in a city like NYC, the gang culture is not strong at all and the local gang culture is becoming a thing of the past. That's not to say NYC doesn't have new gangs, which are mostly neighborhood based, and national type gangs like bloods and crips, but their "traditional" gangs that had a very NYC gang culture, like the Savage Skulls, the Black Spades, the dirty ones etc., are more or less gone or have become legitimate affiliations, more like clubs, than criminal street gangs. Then there are ethnic neighborhood based organized crime gangs, which are like mini-mafias. Then there is organized crime syndicates which I would not consider gangs for several reasons, such as drug cartels (which are really just regional agreements among drug traffickers), or the Italian Cosa Nostra (which is based on racketeering and therefore, historically at least, looked to work in the legitimate world for illegitimate purposes, like coopting labor unions etc.,) So I think "gangs" are not one thing, and I agree with both of you, but the definition is so wide spread, that it's very convenient for law enforcement to use the term whenever there is a group, particularly of youth, that they want to target.  
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Re: Status Quo on MS-13

Anon
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Mexico-Watcher
Mexico Watcher, I wanted to address your points.


<<1. I think urban gangs are evil entities that play functional roles in their societal settings.... it is why they persist and spread. >>

I'm not going to address whether they are "evil" or not. To me they are natural when there are disenfranchised youth, particularly in neighborhoods that have a history of these associations. Some of the members may be "evil", but all are not. It's hard to judge when many are just born into it, and judging doesn't help us understand the phenomena any better.

<<2. We know much about gangs from different professional and lay perspectives and this in itself is a  "gang problem."  Question: What would happen if urban gangs were suddenly made extinct?>>

If urban gangs were suddenly made extinct, I think they would be redefined. The crime problem would be much better, but groups of young men loitering, who had a name for their group would be the new "gangs". According to nationalgangcenter.gov:

  The total number of gang homicides reported by respondents in the NYGS sample averaged nearly 2,000 annually from 2007 to 2012. During roughly the same time period (2007 to 2011), the FBI estimated, on average, more than 15,500 homicides across the United States (www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-1). These estimates suggest that gang-related homicides typically accounted for around 13 percent of all homicides annually.

So if gangs were eliminated, we could expect a 13 percent decline in homicides. BTW, there is an 80% figure floating around (that 80% of all homicides are gang related), this has been largely discredited and is pushed by the NRA.

<<3. Despite living among barrio gangsters for years,  I really don't know much about them.  Of course, I have opinions and ideas but I happily stand ready to cast them off if these can be proved wrong.>>

 I've known gang members, I've worked with former gang members, I'm not gonna tell my life story, but they can't all be painted with the same brush. Not every gang member is the same and not every gang set or clique etc., is the same. Most aren't very dangerous, but want you to think they are and some are very dangerous. Many are dangerous in given situations and not in others. When I see what's going on and I see rap videos like "pull up with a stick", I mostly feel sad. It's sad that kids are out there shooting and killing each other over bullshit, ending one life and ruining tons of others.  

As to Tucuache's point. I do think MS-13 is just a gang, perhaps a bit more violent than most. I do not think they are an organized criminal syndicate. Insight crime has a whole series on them. According to interviews of the members themselves, activities they are involved in, documentaries I've seen on them, and just generally trying to understand organized crime in El Salvador and where they fit in, basically they don't. The criminal syndicates in El Salvador like El Cartel de Texis and others are the organized crime. The Maras are just gang bangers. I think most of the heat directed towards MS-13 is political.

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Re: Status Quo on MS-13

Mexico-Watcher
This post was updated on .
Anon wrote
Mexico Watcher, I wanted to address your points.


<<1. I think urban gangs are evil entities that play functional roles in their societal settings.... it is why they persist and spread. >>

I'm not going to address whether they are "evil" or not. To me they are natural when there are disenfranchised youth, particularly in neighborhoods that have a history of these associations. Some of the members make be "evil", but all are not. It's hard to judge when many are just born into it, and judging doesn't help us understand the phenomena any better.

<<2. We know much about gangs from different professional and lay perspectives and this in itself is a  "gang problem."  Question: What would happen if urban gangs were suddenly made extinct?>>

If urban gangs were suddenly made extinct, I think they would be redefined. The crime problem would be much better, but groups of young men loitering, who had a name for their group would be the new "gangs". According to nationalgangcenter.gov:

  The total number of gang homicides reported by respondents in the NYGS sample averaged nearly 2,000 annually from 2007 to 2012. During roughly the same time period (2007 to 2011), the FBI estimated, on average, more than 15,500 homicides across the United States (www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-1). These estimates suggest that gang-related homicides typically accounted for around 13 percent of all homicides annually.

So if gangs were eliminated, we could expect a 13 percent decline in homicides. BTW, there is an 80% figure floating around (that 80% of all homicides are gang related), this has been largely discredited and is pushed by the NRA.

<<3. Despite living among barrio gangsters for years,  I really don't know much about them.  Of course, I have opinions and ideas but I happily stand ready to cast them off if these can be proved wrong.>>

 I've known gang members, I've worked with former gang members, I'm not gonna tell my life story, but they can't all be painted with the same brush. Not every gang member is the same and not every gang set or clique etc., is the same. Most aren't very dangerous, but want you to think they are and some are very dangerous. Many are dangerous in given situations and not in others. When I see what's going on and I see rap videos like "pull up with a stick", I mostly feel sad. It's sad that kids are out there shooting and killing each other over bullshit, ending one life and ruining tons of others.  

As to Tucuache's point. I do think MS-13 is just a gang, perhaps a bit more violent than most. I do not think they are an organized criminal syndicate. Insight crime has a whole series on them. According to interviews of the members themselves, activities they are involved in, documentaries I've seen on them, and just generally trying to understand organized crime in El Salvador and where they fit in, basically they don't. The criminal syndicates in El Salvador like El Cartel de Texis and others are the organized crime. The Maras are just gang bangers. I think most of the heat directed towards MS-13 is political.
Anon: Your postings are most illuminating and show your depth of intimate knowledge of the topic at hand. You are an expert on gangs.   BTW, how blind of me to not mention the "legal" perspective on gangs this is a good example of a giant scotoma on my part.  Of course, how lawyers and judges see "gangs" is of profound importance on many levels.  While I am on this, lets add the perspectives that bail bondsmen and clothiers have on gangs.  

Your descriptions of the great variety of gangs across historic, regional, racial/ethnic and other dimensions adds much to this thread.  From your expert input, we must remember that gangs are dynamically "reactive" social entities that respond to environmental changes and other kinds of 'plus or minus" inputs.   For example, I saw a video from El Salvador on MS-13 that made the point that the gang is discouraging those bizarre tattoos we are all familiar with.... this because they now prove counterproductive.

About the "evil" thing.  This is an admittedly nebulous construct.  I am aware that the "evil" construct is highly subjective and elusive to rigorously define for scientific purposes. However, because I have been researching human behavior that is cruel, depraved, deplorable, heinous, disgusting, sinful, and infandous for several years, I feel comfortable using the 'evil' construct.

Many gangs almost pride themselves in doing things lay people would define as "evil".  They often project personas that are opposite Boy Scouts.  Here is sociological and phenomenological take on he topic of evil gangs.  I hope it does not seem tortured.  Consider a violent, gang infested neighborhood where people fear to walk to a park or store on a nice warm evening.  Consider raising children who are becoming attracted to gangs and are rejecting conventional values.  Consider households where kids are taught to dive to the at the sound of gunfire; where children are raised knowing hoes, drug addicts, killers, thieves, fences, pimps, smugglers, and the sounds and sights of violence as natural parts of their environment. consider raising kids where their role models are deviants and hard core criminals.  Consider raising kids in places where environmental inputs and socialization processes shape them into willing candidates for living La Vida Loca.  Like pervasive smog people don't notice the toxic air anymore until someone, like a caring veterano or priest, points out the deadly "evils" of living in a gang infested neighborhood.  

 As to my points #2 and #3.... I stand cheerfully educated by your keen observations and amplifications. I look forward to more postings from you.  

Before, I close, a little story about a gang banger I helped leave his gang with honor.  The kid came to me very troubled because of a planned homicide he wanted no part of because of his moral values.   We jointly planned a series of things that would happen to him naturally beyond his control and remove him from participation.  Long story short, it worked and the homicide was thwarted.  Eventually, this boy totally left the gangster life via help from Teen challenge.  

The point of my story, is that I have know gang bangers as pathetic victims of  circumstances and who marched their vida locas like programmed robots.  IMO, this phenomena of gangs  and gangsters is a "natural" outcome of complex circumstances and processes.  

Mexico-Watcher  


   
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Re: Status Quo on MS-13

Anon
This post was updated on .
Thanks for the kind words Mexico Watcher. I appreciate your posts as well. As to viewing gangs as evil, that's perfectly fine and that's your prerogative, however, I would suggest just this thought. No one ever sees themselves as evil. When a criminal commits a crime, they either justify it to themselves, or if they are very psychopathic, feel no need or justification. The point is that if you want to understand them, then you have to try and think like they think. When asked about their victims, gangs members typically refuse to think about them. They just focus on the cred or respect they're going to get or the revenge they think they have to claim, or even view it as self or hood protection. Most of them actually do have the capacity to feel remorse, they just suppress it. Also, not to mention, that a small fraction of a gang is responsible for the vast majority of the crimes. There are something like 1 million gang bangers in the U.S. There are about 15,000 homicides (give or take) each year. Only 13 percent of these are gang related, but even if 100% were, then that would mean that 1.5% of all gang bangers (assuming each of that 1.5% killed only 1 person, each year) would be murderers. That's a ridiculously high number and the reality is that a small number of hardcase knuckleheads, often criminal psychopaths and sociopaths (in fact most often sociopaths) are responsible for the vast majority of these killings. So 99.5% of gangbangers (I'm making this figure up, it's just a guesstimate) are not killers. So I think of gangs as a problem, and when we're talking about a million (mostly) kids, there are hundreds of dangerous killers in there. To me, whether they are evil or not, is complicated. One last thing. I don't want to ignore the fact that many gang members do commit crimes that are not gang related. In such a case, you can't blame the gang for the crime, even though the members themselves may be criminals. In certain cities, such as Chicago, gangs get blamed for the violence, but often all a gang is these days in certain places, is a neighborhood where these kids are born and raised and associate themselves with. The vast majority of homicides are personal beefs, unrelated to drug trafficking or illegal business. So what you have is young disenfranchised youth, who grow up in a gun culture, who are settling disputes violently. Chicago had like 4,000 shootings and 700 murders last year. They have an estimated 100,000 "gang members". So even though that's a lot of shooting and killing, it means around 4% of the gang members were involved, assuming that all the shootings involved gang members (which they didn't) and none involved the same people twice (which also isn't the case).
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Re: Status Quo on MS-13

canadiana
Administrator
Very enlightening reading between you and Mexico Watcher.Interesting insights like 'a criminal gene' to gangs suppressing remorse or justifications.Please keep it up you 2!I'm sure I'm not the only 1 that is enjoying the comments here.
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Re: Status Quo on MS-13

Anon
Thanks Canadiana.
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Re: Status Quo on MS-13

Mica
In reply to this post by canadiana
I agree @Canadiana.  It was cool to see you two exchange comments.
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Re: Status Quo on MS-13

Mexico-Watcher
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Anon
Anon wrote
....  As to viewing gangs as evil, that's perfectly fine and that's your prerogative, however, I would suggest just this thought. No one ever sees themselves as evil. When a criminal commits a crime, they either justify it to themselves, or if they are very psychopathic, feel no need or justification.

... The point is that if you want to understand them, then you have to try and think like they think. When asked about their victims, gangs members typically refuse to think about them. They just focus on the cred or respect they're going to get or the revenge they think they have to claim, or even view it as self or hood protection. Most of them actually do have the capacity to feel remorse, they just suppress it....
Anon:  It looks like this thread is interesting and appreciated by some of our BB members.  Thanks everyone who is enjoying this thread.
===========

Anon, I totally agree with your statistical take on gang homicide and your comments on gangs and gang bangers.  You correctly show understanding and compassion on the topic.  

 I am a qualitative sciences type guy (deviance sociology and ethnography ) with some psychiatric/forensic clinical experience in corrections.  I have also done some community based drug rehab groups with parolees.  Given these experiences, I have known more than my share of bona fide psychopaths and sociopaths.  They are definitely just as you describe and it sure sounds like you have known your share of them too.  IMO, urban gangs probably serve the unintended purpose of being a natural niche for clinically "troubled" kids.  It is interesting how gang bangers often have sobriquets that tend to type their  personalities, i.e. "Spyder", "Sniper", "Silent", "Triste", "Maton", "Kreeper", "Lonely-Boy -Girl". "Syko",  and "Payaso."
============
About that "EVIL" concept on gangs that I threw out there in my earlier post:
Anon:Yes you are correct that people who do horrible crime often use defense mechanisms to avoid the pains of shame and guilt that "normal" people might feel from doing crimes.  Of course, the gang itself teaches and applies the shame and guilt avoidance mechanisms. The die-hards and psychopaths and sociopaths in a gang probably serve as role models for the newer and lesser types.  In time the gang socialization process takes a novitiate and transforms him or her into a bona fide gangster.... it is a manufacturing process of sorts and has distinct social levels and distinct rites of passage .... including going to jail, prison and the final one...DEATH.  Gangs have codes of conduct, special value systems and world views.  They have special clothes, language, mannerisms, activities, and like and dislikes that are unique and meaningful to the gang.  Gang members studiously monitor each other for signs of strength or weakness.  Both are rewarded or punished accordingly.  In a nutshell, the "gang" as an historical social fact provides psychological mechanisms for denying  "evil" .... members openly showing remorse, guilt, shame may be seen as weak or "slipping".  This may alarm the gang because they are signs the member may be or become a "snitch".

All of the above, for me, is an indicator of an "evil" entity n a community.   The gang, as a social fact,  subverts a normal Christian type moral "conscience" in members.  This moral conscience  is what "normal" people feel as shame, guilt, remorse, or sin when they do "bad" things.  So to have sizable numbers of  youths and veteranos in a neighborhood who harbor antisocial values where shame, guilt, remorse, or sin are compromised is to have "evil" extant in the neighborhood.  

Again, when gangster significantly impact a community's peaceful and decent way of life... this is a manifestation of "evil".  Like toxic smog, people may not even notice that it is ruining their health until something really bad happens.  

[I have avoided the problem of paramilitary type gangs like the CDG and ZETAS in Mexico ...IMO, these constitute  a whole other order of "evil" and deserves separate discussion.]


Hey BB readers, how about dropping some lines on this topic of gangs.  What do you think? 

Mexico-Watcher

 
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Re: Status Quo on MS-13

deelucky1
most of them are gay with their shaved heads they just dont admit it !no one ever says nothing about that .if you ever go to jail you will see what im talking about .
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Re: Status Quo on MS-13

canadiana
Administrator
In reply to this post by Mexico-Watcher
3 MS-13 members charged in New York with killing guy with a machete because they didn't like his laugh!
http://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/ms-13-gang-members-charged-in-machete-attack-in-new-york-police-say/ar-BBAJxYU?li=AAggv0m&ocid=iehp
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Re: Status Quo on MS-13

Anasazi
In reply to this post by Mica
The reason you're hearing a lot about MS-13 in the news recently is because MS-13 members have committed several high profile murders in suburban communities on Long Island in New York and in suburban Maryland in the Metro DC area that are not used to having brutal gang violence in their area.

The number of Salvadorian immigrants on Long Island, especially the municipalities of Hempstead and Brentwood, and in suburban Maryland cities like Langley Park has had explosive growth over the past 10-15 years. These were communities with low levels of gang violence before where now its routine for high-school age kids, some of them unrelated to gangs, to get killed by MS cliques that run the area. Recently, 2 high-school girls not involved in the gang life were killed by an MS clique in a park on Long Island, beaten with bats and hacked with machetes. That scared and angered a lot of people and drew a ton of media attention. More kids were killed there and eventually both President Trump and Governor Cuomo of NY commented on the gang's activities and promised to crack down.

The background of the gang is that it was founded in the 1980s by young Salvadorian males who lived in the Westlake, MacArthur Park and Pico-Union neighborhoods of LA. The founders were trying to clique up to defend themselves from the Chicano/Mexican-American gangs that already existed in these neighborhoods that the Salvadorian immigrants were arriving to. Not many people from outside LA know this, but the gang actually had a much different look back then. It was considered a "Stoner" gang, which in the LA gang culture of the 1980s meant that the members had more of a skater/punk/metal-type aesthetic, often associated with local rock radio station KROQ.

In the 90s, the gang grew enormously along with the growth in the Salvadorian population of LA. The gang adopted a more traditional LA cholo aesthetic. Tons of members were deported to El Salvador and started cliques over there. The gang exploded in popularity in El Salvador. By the end of the decade, there were far, far more members of MS-13 in El Salvador than in LA. Most of the cliques that are springing up in places like NY and MD are much closer tied to the Salvadorian cliques of the gang than to the LA/older US cliques. The LA cliques have been hurt badly by RICO and other major indictments, deportations, plus the Salvadorian population of LA stopped growing and they're being outcompeted by rival Mexican gangs in many cases. The gang as a whole doesn't have one leader or unitary structure, it's more like a binational federation of cliques. They are nowhere near as organized and nowhere near as financially profitable and successful as, say, the Mexican or Colombia cartels. However, they're arguably quicker to kill and more willing to kill innocents over minor stuff like, in El Salvador, not paying $2 in "piso"/tax. Human life means almost nothing to many of them.

As an aside, the 13 does not mean they were taken over by the Mexican Mafia. In CA Dept. of Corrections institutions, prisoners divide themselves racially. Mexican-Americans, however, are geographically divided into Nortenos and Surenos. If and when they go to prison, members of gangs that bear the 14 become part of the Nortenos and members of gangs that bear the 13 become part of the Surenos. On the outside, gangs that bear the 13 feud amongst each other, but they put these feuds aside when they go to the pinta and ally with each other. The Mexican Mafia is a smaller gang with a much smaller number of members that forms the permanent leadership of the Surenos group, just like the Nuestra Familia gang leads the Nortenos. Outside of prison, the Mexican Mafia's power over MS-13 members is fairly limited, except that they charge taxes. MS is one of the few gangs that is made up mostly of non-Chicanos/Mexicans that is part of the Surenos. The only other one I can think of is Armenian Power 13.

This gets confusing because in El Salvador, MS-13's eternal enemy is 18th St or Mara 18. In California, 18th St and MS-13 are both of the Surenos. In El Salvador, they're rivals. And the Mara 18 in El Salvador has a pretty limited connection to the 18th St. gang in LA at this point. They really just adopted the name and ran with it.
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Re: Status Quo on MS-13

Anon
Anasazi, I agree with everything you said. I do, however, think politics comes into the MS-13 being in the news these days. I don't want to turn this into a political discussion, but they are an easy group to target because they are bi national and have a lot of members who are undocumented immigrants. So the politicians can post pictures of these scary gangsters with facial tattoos and say "that's who we're targeting". MS-13 members are pretty hardcore because of the civil war many of them witnessed in El Salvador in the 1980s growing up, but they are no organized crime syndicate. Certainly nothing like the cartels, but what is funny is that some right wing propaganda will show MS-13 bangers and have a headline about the cartels, just lumping them in together. MS-13, Maras in general, are a pretty big problem in central America. In the U.S, we have a gang problem, but MS-13 isn't anything special. As to MS-13 and 18th Street both being Suerenos in prison and mortal enemies in El Salvador, well, that's the thing with street gangs, they're not really organizations in any real sense past the neighborhood level.
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Re: Status Quo on MS-13

Mexico-Watcher
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Anasazi
Anasazi wrote
The reason you're hearing a lot about MS-13 in the news recently is because MS-13 members have committed several high profile murders in suburban communities on Long Island in New York and in suburban Maryland in the Metro DC area that are not used to having brutal gang violence in their area.

The number of Salvadorian immigrants on Long Island, especially the municipalities of Hempstead and Brentwood, and in suburban Maryland cities like Langley Park has had explosive growth over the past 10-15 years. These were communities with low levels of gang violence before where now its routine for high-school age kids, some of them unrelated to gangs, to get killed by MS cliques that run the area. Recently, 2 high-school girls not involved in the gang life were killed by an MS clique in a park on Long Island, beaten with bats and hacked with machetes. That scared and angered a lot of people and drew a ton of media attention. More kids were killed there and eventually both President Trump and Governor Cuomo of NY commented on the gang's activities and promised to crack down.

The background of the gang is that it was founded in the 1980s by young Salvadorian males who lived in the Westlake, MacArthur Park and Pico-Union neighborhoods of LA. The founders were trying to clique up to defend themselves from the Chicano/Mexican-American gangs that already existed in these neighborhoods that the Salvadorian immigrants were arriving to. Not many people from outside LA know this, but the gang actually had a much different look back then. It was considered a "Stoner" gang, which in the LA gang culture of the 1980s meant that the members had more of a skater/punk/metal-type aesthetic, often associated with local rock radio station KROQ.

In the 90s, the gang grew enormously along with the growth in the Salvadorian population of LA. The gang adopted a more traditional LA cholo aesthetic. Tons of members were deported to El Salvador and started cliques over there. The gang exploded in popularity in El Salvador. By the end of the decade, there were far, far more members of MS-13 in El Salvador than in LA. Most of the cliques that are springing up in places like NY and MD are much closer tied to the Salvadorian cliques of the gang than to the LA/older US cliques. The LA cliques have been hurt badly by RICO and other major indictments, deportations, plus the Salvadorian population of LA stopped growing and they're being outcompeted by rival Mexican gangs in many cases. The gang as a whole doesn't have one leader or unitary structure, it's more like a binational federation of cliques. They are nowhere near as organized and nowhere near as financially profitable and successful as, say, the Mexican or Colombia cartels. However, they're arguably quicker to kill and more willing to kill innocents over minor stuff like, in El Salvador, not paying $2 in "piso"/tax. Human life means almost nothing to many of them.

As an aside, the 13 does not mean they were taken over by the Mexican Mafia. In CA Dept. of Corrections institutions, prisoners divide themselves racially. Mexican-Americans, however, are geographically divided into Nortenos and Surenos. If and when they go to prison, members of gangs that bear the 14 become part of the Nortenos and members of gangs that bear the 13 become part of the Surenos. On the outside, gangs that bear the 13 feud amongst each other, but they put these feuds aside when they go to the pinta and ally with each other. The Mexican Mafia is a smaller gang with a much smaller number of members that forms the permanent leadership of the Surenos group, just like the Nuestra Familia gang leads the Nortenos. Outside of prison, the Mexican Mafia's power over MS-13 members is fairly limited, except that they charge taxes. MS is one of the few gangs that is made up mostly of non-Chicanos/Mexicans that is part of the Surenos. The only other one I can think of is Armenian Power 13.

This gets confusing because in El Salvador, MS-13's eternal enemy is 18th St or Mara 18. In California, 18th St and MS-13 are both of the Surenos. In El Salvador, they're rivals. And the Mara 18 in El Salvador has a pretty limited connection to the 18th St. gang in LA at this point. They really just adopted the name and ran with it.
Anasazi: Excellent post!  
A little more on gangs.  I will focus on three factors : (1)racial/ethnic, (2) territoriality,  and (3) law enforcement especially corrections.

!. Racial/ethnic factor: America's long history of racial and ethnic minorities in gangs goes way back.  Birds  of a Feather Flock Together Phenomena.  Often, immigrants formed natural "helping networks" based on kinships, friendships, common language, religious, food-ways, cultural customs like for courtship, weddings, baptismals, and funerals, etc. Combined, all this acted like a social binding "glue."  In time, these enclaves of culturally similar people took on identities, mores, and behaviors reflecting memberships  of places as china town, Mexican Town, German Town, Little Tokyo, Korea Town, Slav town, nigger town, and Little Italy.  Outsiders also had their own definitions of ethnic/racial places... often negative.  

(2) Territoriality: one cannot understand gangs without considering territoriality issues.   After a  time,as these human ethnic/racial enclave grew and matured, people naturally made further internal territorial refinements based on such things as railroad lines , highways, river courses, factories, school, police, or political boundaries.  People knew these  territorial boundaries and adopted identities and behaviors based on them.  Certain human processed further divided sectors of the original enclave based on complexes of human needs (e.g. sex, entertainment, justice, etc.).  Some of these areas became attractive to criminals of all kinds and to youths who had the need and deviant attributes to fit in.  These sub-areas took on identifying names and identities.  These sub-areas became ideal loci for criminal activities and for people to find their functional place ... eventually being adopted into "gang" for which this person would have strong social and psychological identity bindings to this particular location.  In general, territoriality factors figure strongly in gang members' identities and behaviors.  In some cases, not understanding this about gangs can get one killed.

(3) Law Enforcement and Corrections:  For gang bangers, one cannot exaggerate the importance of being persecuted and captured by the law, tried and sentenced to jail or prison.  These "rites of passage" events serve as important ordeals or tests which if passed by gang standards are crucial in forming a gangster identity and for earning increased status within the gang.  IMO, it would be interestingto see what would happen if society explicitly arranged for criminal gang bangers to fail key tests.  For example, "openly" causing gangsters to "snitch" for reduced sentences.  [Historically, this is no uncommon, but kept secret.]

Finally, I am convinced that the gang phenomena is morphing into something much different with the application of science and technology to the problem.  Nothing is static today.  The future of violence and its criminal actors is rapidly changing.  Prisoners , deviants, and other classes of undesirables are easy guinea pigs to test ideas and methods on to control societies.  
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For example, scores on certain psychometric tests (e.g. Hare's PCL-R and MMPI) might be used to determine prison time and corrective "Rehab" to apply to induced lasting "good" behavior. Failure to induce good behavior might mean certain conseuences to "protect" society.  
Mexico-Watcher