FANDOM


Mara 18 (also known as M-18 or MS-18) is a primarily-Latino criminal organization, with members largely from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras<ref name="IPS">EL SALVADOR: Gangs Recruiting Younger and Younger Members. IPS News. Retrieved on 2008-3-38.</ref>.

HistoryEdit

La Mara 18 was created in Los Angeles, California|Los Angeles, California. During the 1980's, there was a mass exodus of El Salvadorans that feld the conditions following the Salvadoran Civil War|El Salvadoran Civil War<ref name="IPS">EL SALVADOR: Gangs Recruiting Younger and Younger Members. IPS News. Retrieved on 2008-3-38.</ref>. Many of the Salvadorans who traveled to California were the target of existing gangs who preyed on immigrants. The 18th Street gang had existed since the 1960's, some Salvadoran immigrants joined the organization which was known to accept Hispanic immigrants that were excluded from Mexican gangs<ref name="Boston">Gangs roil Central America. Boston Globe. Retrieved on 2006-4-17.</ref>.

MembershipEdit

To become a member of MS-18, typical initiation involved being "jumped in" and beaten by gang members for 18 seconds<ref name="IPS">EL SALVADOR: Gangs Recruiting Younger and Younger Members. IPS News. Retrieved on 2008-3-38.</ref>. Many factions of the gang have since done away with the initiation<ref name="IPS">EL SALVADOR: Gangs Recruiting Younger and Younger Members. IPS News. Retrieved on 2008-3-38.</ref>.

Members of the gang were considered to be permanent participants until death, with the exception of becoming a "calmado" or "calmada", a reference to people who are still considered members but have retired from gang activities<ref name="IPS">EL SALVADOR: Gangs Recruiting Younger and Younger Members. IPS News. Retrieved on 2008-3-38.</ref>.

The typical age of new members to the gang in El Salvador is 12 years old, with some recruits as young as nine<ref name="IPS">EL SALVADOR: Gangs Recruiting Younger and Younger Members. IPS News. Retrieved on 2008-3-38.</ref>. The recruiting age has lowered over time to replace older members who have become incarcerated, and to circumvent harsh legal penalties which apply to non-minors. Under El Salvador's post-Civil War legal system, minors cannot be tried for crimes even as serious as murder, and may only be sent to juvenile detention facilities for rehabilitation<ref name="IPS">EL SALVADOR: Gangs Recruiting Younger and Younger Members. IPS News. Retrieved on 2008-3-38.</ref>.

TerritoryEdit

Mara 18 has extended to many cities within El Salvador and has been incorporated in other countries within Central America, primarily Honduras and Guatemala.

RivalriesEdit

The principal rivals of Mara 18 are Mara Salvatrucha, a gang that consists primarily of members from El Salvador<ref name="Washington">El Salvador's Marked Men. Washington Post. Retrieved on 2005-3-20.</ref>. Members of Mara 18 are also involved in ongoing territorial wars in Mexico with Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13<ref name="Union Tribute">Gang-related gun battle kills three in southern Mexico. Union Tribune. Retrieved on 2004-9-23.</ref>. The rivalry is in part a struggle for control over railroad yards near Mexico's Southern borders, where undocumented Central Americans cross on their way to the United States. Skirmishes between the two gangs have become commonplace in the rail yard of Southern Mexico, as those areas are often used as routes by gang members that smuggle illegals into the United States<ref name="Union Tribute">Gang-related gun battle kills three in southern Mexico. Union Tribune. Retrieved on 2004-9-23.</ref>.

In 2005, attacks between MS-13 and MS-18 in multiple prisons throughout Guatemala resulted in a series of highly coordinated riots which left 31 inmates dead, and dozens more wounded<ref name="MSNBC">At least 31 killed in Guatemala prison gang war. MSNBC. Retrieved on 2005-8-15.</ref>.

TattoosEdit

Like Mara Salvatrucha, members of MS-18 are often easily identified by their extensive tattooing, which sometimes covers their entire face. Central American government officials have responded to the growing tattoo trend of gangs such as MS-13 and MS-18 by denying jobs and admission to schools to those marked with gang tattoos<ref name="Washington">El Salvador's Marked Men. Washington Post. Retrieved on 2005-3-20.</ref>. Some past and present members of MS-18 have had their tattoos removed to prevent being recognized as a gang member. New leaders of gangs such as MS-13 have foregone getting tattoos to avoid extra attention or discrimination<ref name="Washington">El Salvador's Marked Men. Washington Post. Retrieved on 2005-3-20.</ref>.

EtymologyEdit

The word mara in Central America often roughly translates as the English word for "gang."<ref name="AP">Immigrant gang suspected of al-Qaida ties. Associated Press. Retrieved on 2005-9-3.</ref>

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit


This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.