"The Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and its main rival, the "18th Street" gang, continue to undermine citizen security and subvert government authority in parts of Central America. Gang-related violence has been particularly acute in El Salvador, Honduras, and urban areas in Guatemala, contributing to some of the highest homicide rates in the world. Congress has maintained an interest in the effects of gang-related crime and violence on governance, citizen security, and investment in Central America. Congress has examined the role that gang-related violence has played in fueling mixed migration flows, which have included asylum seekers, by families and unaccompanied alien children (UAC) to the United States. Since FY2008, Congress has appropriated funding for anti-gang efforts in Central America. Central American governments have struggled to address the gang problem. […]This report describes the gang problem in Central America, discusses country approaches to deal with the gangs, and analyzes U.S. policy with respect to gangs in Central America. Congressional oversight may focus on the efficacy of anti-gang efforts in Central America; the interaction between U.S. domestic and international anti-gang policies, and the potential impact of U.S. sanctions on law-enforcement efforts."
CRS Report for Congress, RL34112
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html