Known now as the most ruthless and violent gang in the world MS-13 or Mara Salvatrucha is a huge threat to all street gangs, motorcycle gangs and prison gangs worldwide, and especially the police.
MS13 is a gang you do not want to cross paths with, they are violent, ruthless and have no regards for human life.
Because of deportation the gang quickly spread through Central America, but the gang also spread through North America as well. MS 13 is a mainly Central American gang, with members mainly from El Salvador.
MS13 remains to have a heavy and active presence in the United States, and the POTUS, Donald Trump really hates it, you can check one of his news articles here. MS can be found in California, Washington, New Jersey, Boston, Charlotte, North Carolina and Houston, and have been growing in Canada as well.
Members of the gang, are covered in MS13 tattoos, from head to toe, anywhere you can get a tattoo on pretty much. They are extremely violent and aggressive. Their gang wars take no consideration for innocent people or anyone for that matter.
This behavior has gotten them into a working relationship with the Sinaloa Cartel.
This article we are going to be talking about the top facts you need to know about the MS 13 street organization, a brutal and very large street gang.
MS 13 History
Back in the 1980’s when there was a big immigration rush, a lot of the refugees and illegal immigrants were coming to the United States. As a result of the civil wars causing havoc in Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua) thousands of refugees were seeking a better anywhere but home. A lot of them landed in the barrios of Los Angeles.
At that time, black street gangs, and Mexican gangs had the monopoly on neighborhoods, so these new refugees had to organize and fend for themselves. These refugees and immigrants were not just street thugs though, they had war mentality instilled in them, and were quick to join each other in protecting what little they had.
This is eventually what led to the forming of Mara Salvatrucha.
MS 13 Meaning
There are some different meanings of the MS 13 gang name, here are some different interpretations of it.
The first source states that the gang is named after La Mara and the Salvatrucha Guerrillas. La Mara is a street gang in San Salvador, and the Salvatrucha Guerrillas who fought in the Salvaodran Civil War.
Another source stats that Mara stands for gang, Salva represents El Salvador, trucha means trout in english but is also a slang term for clever or sharp.
MS 13 Members
Members of MS-13 range from all different ages. The majority of the members are minors, these members are usually the members who do all the dirty work. The reason for this is because, a lot of schools didn’t allow these kids into their school without documentation. So these kids were left to find their own ways of spending their time. This led to a lot of gang recruitment.
A lot of MS 13 members are covered in tattoos. Common tattoos that MS 13 members have are the letters MS together, Salvatrucha, devil horns, clique names and other symbols. A lot of the members have tattoos on their faces as well.
Gang Signs and Stacking
Like most gangs, stacking is used my MS to communicate non verbally.
This video shows an ex member stacking and explaining what each sign means.
Some of the more common tattoos are, the devil’s horn which also doubles as an M when upside down. This sign is the most common as it portrays which gang they’re from.
MS 13 Locations
MS is a huge gang that is growing and growing every day. They have a presence in a lot of cities in the United States, and are now in Canada.
They are very active in California and are under heavy siege with the feds and police. Just recently in May of 2017, 50 raids took place to round up MS 13 gang members.
The gang seems to be spreading and getting stronger, as president Trump puts a bigger spot light on their back.
MS 13 Leader
Like most street gangs, especially of this size and depth, their isn’t one boss of the entire gang. The gang is divided into different cliques, and each clique has its own leader.
MS 13 is such a big gang, and spreads so far that it would be impossible to have one leader, instead there are shot callers in place, who plan and make the orders. These are the most respected and most powerful individuals in MS 13.
This one is a bit less talked about, but as for colors, MS 13 rocks blue and black bandannas. So colors aren’t the best tell for spotting some members. An easier way to know if they are an MS13 gang member is if you see tattoos. Tattoos are their biggest giveaway. They also wear a lot of sport clothing that has the number 13 on it.
MS 13 Rules
Unlike Motorcycle Gangs, MS 13 dont really have rules or regulations. Members do what they want, they follow a rule of respect and thats it.
MS 13 in the Media
Because they are such a big gang and impact a lot of lives, MS 13 has been depicted in a good amount of movies. Here is a list of some of the movies, that reference the dangerous gang.
Sin Nombre(2009) – this movie features members of actual MS 13 gangs in Mexico. A lot of what you see in the movie is true to the gangs life.
La Video Precoz y breve de Sabina Rivas(2012)
Hijos de la Guerra(2007) is a feature length film the features the MS 13 gang.
National Geographic put out a documentary about them in 2005.
The history channel also made a special on the gang.