Articles on Gangs

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The MS-13 gang operates in Central America, Mexico and the U.S. But so far its efforts to get into the drug business have failed. Jose Cabezas/Reuters

MS-13 is a street gang, not a drug cartel – and the difference matters

Trump justice officials portray the Salvadoran gang MS-13 as a powerful drug cartel staffed with criminal undocumented immigrants. That's a dangerous mistake if you actually want to prevent violence.
Arrests aside, until the politicians who collude with gangs are stopped, crime in Central America will likely continue unchecked. Reuters/Jose Cabezas

In Central America, gangs like MS-13 are bad – but corrupt politicians may be worse

Corruption, not gang warfare, is the root cause of the record violence in El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Until public officials stop shielding criminal groups like MS-13, lawlessness will reign.
Victims of violence by U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti say that the agency has neither investigated nor offered recompense for deaths and injuries that occurred during anti-gang raids. Daniel Aguilar/Reuters

Sent to Haiti to keep the peace, departing UN troops leave a damaged nation in their wake

On the eve of its departure from Haiti after a 13-year stabilization effort, the UN faces accusations that its troops used excessive force to fight gangs, killing innocent bystanders.
Inmates on the roof of State Penitentiary of Alcacuz during a riot on January 16. Ney Douglas/EPA

Who is really in control of Brazil’s prisons?

Violent massacres at prisons in the country's north, have disrupted a delicate balance of governance.

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