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World’s Most Notorious Gang Takes Massive Leadership Hit, Thanks To Big Police Raid

REUTERS/Ulises Rodriguez

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter
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Salvadoran police walloped Transnational criminal organization (TCO) MS-13 by picking up five of the group’s top operatives Thursday, including its money man who pretends to be an Evangelical pastor.

MS-13 is a notoriously violent street gang that began in Los Angeles in the 1980s. Central Americans migrants fleeing violence in their countries, mostly Salvadorans and Hondurans, formed the gang to have a community in the U.S.

[dcquiz] Top gang financier Marvin ‘Piwa’ Romos faked being an Evangelical pastor so that he could visit senior gang leaders in prison and inform them about the status of their books. 120 people were arrested in the multiple raids along with a whole lot of guns, drugs, and cash.

Salvadoran Attorney General Douglas Meléndez said when announcing the major busts that Piwa, “is the brains, he manages the finances of MS-13, he is who collects what the gang makes from extortion, decides what guns to buy, drugs, he has the power to name zone leaders in the criminal structure.”

In 2015, the Central American country endured almost one murder per hour. El Salvador is enduring a long-running gang war between MS-13 and its rival, the 18th Street Gang.

The gang is known for its use of large tattoos which they have throughout their bodies. MS-13 has a large presence throughout the United States with the Washington D.C. metro area and Los Angeles metro area being large operational hubs on the East and West Coast respectively.

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