Inside the Brutal, Horrifying World of the MS-13 Gang

Long Island indictments shed latest light on 'transnational' criminal group
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 3, 2017 2:40 PM CST
Inside the Brutal, Horrifying World of the MS-13 Gang
Two known MS-13 gang members, formerly of El Salvador, Miguel Alvarez-Flores, right, and Diego Hernandez-Rivera appear in court Thursday in Houston.   (Steve Gonzales/Houston Chronicle via AP)

Nearly three dozen MS-13 gang members were swept up and arrested on Long Island in October after a bunch of Brentwood teens were found dead—and this week, more arrests were made as the feds went after 13 adults alleged to be gang members and believed to be tied to seven LI deaths, including those of three teenagers, the New York Times and UPI report. Those 13 suspects were indicted Thursday, per a DOJ statement, charged with (in addition to the murders) racketeering, assault, firearms, and other charges. "The FBI's Long Island Gang Task Force will continue our mission to dismantle the MS-13 and free our neighborhoods from the terror they cause," Robert Capers, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement, per UPI. More on this group wreaking havoc across the nation:

  • CNN offers a primer on the "transnational" La Mara Salvatrucha, which boasts more than 30,000 members around the world and is considered to be one of the largest criminal assemblies in the US. Although it started among Salvadoran immigrants, it now includes individuals from Honduras, Mexico, and other Latin American countries.

  • The Washington Post documents the last hours and minutes of a 15-year-old targeted and killed by alleged MS-13 gang members in Springfield, Md. "I have been set up," were among Damaris A. Reyes Rivas' last words before what was described as her "savage and brutal" murder.
  • In the Houston area, a pair of illegal Salvadoran immigrants are being accused of kidnapping, rape, and murder, per KHOU. Also said to be involved in this case: a Grim Reaper tattoo and a satanic shrine.
  • InSight Crime delves into what it calls the group's "growing business sophistication," manifested by making young women (aka "black widows") marry men, convince their new husbands to take out life insurance policies, and then set the men up for assassination so their wives can collect the money for the MS-13 network.
(More gangs stories.)

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