"Rising crime is threatening democratic development and slowing economic growth across Central America and Mexico. Gang activity has transcended the borders of Central America, Mexico, and the United States and evolved into a transnational concern that demands a coordinated, multi-national response to effectively combat increasingly sophisticated criminal gang networks. Whereas gang activity used to be territorially confined to local neighborhoods, globalization, sophisticated communications technologies, and travel patterns have facilitated the expansion of gang activity across neighborhoods, cities, and countries. The monikers of notorious gangs such as Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the 18th Street gang (Barrio 18) now appear in communities throughout the United States, Central America, and Mexico. Members of these international gangs move fluidly in and out of these neighboring countries. The U.S. Congress has recognized that some gangs in Latin America and the United States are international criminal organizations whose criminal activities in the Americas have damaging effects on national security by increasing domestic crime levels and facilitating drug trafficking. To combat these gangs which continue to expand their cross-border networks and illegal activities, the United States should act quickly and seize the opportunity to work with Central America and Mexico to develop a coordinated, effective response."
U.S. Agency for International Development: http://www.usaid.gov/index.html