Aljazeera’s Witness series just released “Life in San Salvador,” an inside look at the relentless gang violence in El Salvador’s capital, and how it’s affecting the city’s youth.
In so many ways El Salvador is another example of how the U.S. has tainted yet another North, Central or South American country. El Salvador’s most ubiquitous gang, the “Mara Salvatrucha” a.k.a MS-13, which is consider by many to be one of the most dangerous gangs in the world, was formed in the U.S.
In the early 1980’s, thousands of El Salvadorians fled to Los Angeles during a brutal civil war. Amid racism, poverty, rival gangs and the birth of gangster rap, the MS-13 was formed and progressively strengthened. When thousands of MS-13 were deported back to El Salvador, or traveled back themselves, they forced the glorified gang mentality on the poor and impressionable youth population.
A couple of things you won’t see in this doc. are that the gangs in El Salvador are also fueled by drug trafficking (Being a midpoint between North and South America) based on North America’s demand for drugs, and that MS-13 weapons are most definitely American made, and likely, for the most part, smuggled in from LA.
There isn’t much to do but watch, and hope to develop some sense of empathy.