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Volume7
MonthNovember
Year2005
TitleMara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Ley Anti Mara: El Salvador's Struggle to Reclaim Social Order
Author(s)Juan J. Fogelbach
First Page223
AbstractMS-13 poses a threat to both Salvadorians and Americans. It is a gang that must be cooperatively contained; it will not be controlled by a simplistic burden-shifting policy that leaves El Salvador, a developing country, to unilaterally deal with the problem. This paper will argue that: (1) the deportation of gang members, which results in the arbitrary deaths of thousands of innocent Salvadorians who have no legal recourse amounts to a grave violation of human rights; (2) deportation of gang members to a society where they are likely to be killed by vigilante death squads, or in prison fires and riots, amounts to an unjustifiable, but necessary, violation of human rights as El Salvador unilaterally deals with a Salvadorian-American phenomenon; (3) El Salvador, in addition to Ley Anti Mara, should enact programs and economic policies to address the root causes of gang membership, including the disintegrated Salvadorian family structure, persistently high poverty rates, and the absence of meaningful economic opportunities; and (4) in the interest of hemispheric and national security, and to mitigate the unjustifiable, but necessary violation of human rights, the United States should stop its deportation policy and instead provide financial assistance and law enforcement training to El Salvador.