Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The other MS-13 story

El Salvador Political Map

Down in Central America, El Salvador is getting ready for the return of MS-13 gang members. It is indeed very complicated, as Joshua Partlow reports:     
The Trump administration’s push to deport more Central American gang members has alarmed officials here who fear that the returning gangsters could exacerbate violence in one of the deadliest countries in the hemisphere.
This year the U.S. government has deported 398 gang members to this country, compared with 534 in all of 2016, according to Salvadoran government statistics. 
This sharp increase in the rate of gang deportations — and the prospect of more gang roundups in the United States — has prompted Salvadoran authorities to hold emergency meetings and propose new legislation to monitor suspected criminals who are being sent home.
“This clearly affects El Salvador. We already have a climate of violence in the country that we are combating,” said Héctor Antonio Rodríguez, the director of the country’s immigration agency. “If gang members return, of course this worries us.”
In tweets and speeches, President Trump has made MS-13, or Mara Salvatrucha, the leading symbol of the dangers of illegal immigration and the need for more and faster deportations. He has compared the gang’s “meanness” with that of al-Qaeda. He promised last week that the organization will be “gone from our streets very soon, believe me.” Recent high-profile killings, such as that of a 15-year-old Salvadoran girl in Springfield, Va., and a string of slayings on Long Island, have fueled concerns of an MS-13 resurgence in the United States.
A bit complicated to say the least.   
We cannot criticize President Trump’s efforts. He is looking out for U.S. citizens, specially Hispanics, who are the ones living in the communities that MS-13 terrorizes.
At the same time, El Salvador is facing its own violence problems.   
My recommendation to the U.S. Congress is to provide El Salvador with the funds or assistance to lock up some of the MS-13 leaders or more violent gang members.   
This is not a pretty situation. Let’s remember that all of this chaos and violence in El Salvador is driving people to the U.S. through Mexico. Sadly, most of them are reaching the U.S. because Mexico can’t stop the flow.
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