On 15 January, an article in Insight Crime said that the US Government’s terrorism case against the MS13 opens a new frontier in fighting international street gangs, with a December 2020 indictment of 14 leaders of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13), 11 of whom are in El Salvador prisons.  One of the things that the indictment alleges is that the accused used violence to “obtain concessions from the government of El Salvador, achieve political goals, and retaliate for government actions against MS13’s members and leaders”, and that the MS13 leaders used their power to “retaliate against the United States for actions, or perceived actions, taken against MS13 and its leaders”.  For many reasons, terrorism charges open a new door for US prosecutors to pursue international street gangs – there is no statute of limitations, terrorism charges carry heavier penalties, such a charge might facilitate extradition in part because El Salvador’s own Supreme Court declared the MS13 a terrorist group in 2015, terrorism cases open the door for more direct US investigations, the US had not had a lot of success charging MS13 with international drug trafficking, and terrorism statutes are broad – and while they are parallel to legal tools such as the racketeering statutes, those using them see them as even more pliable to their needs.


If you would like to make a (polite) gesture and make a (very) modest contribution to my ongoing with my relocation, removal and computer costs, I have a page at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s