In a First, U.S. Labels MS-13 Street Gang ‘Transnational Criminal Organization’

Los Angeles Times, October 11, 2012

Federal authorities Thursday designated the notorious Mara Salvatrucha MS-13 as a “transnational criminal organization,” giving federal authorities more tools to fight the street gang that has its roots in Los Angeles.

Under the designation, federal officials said they can now seize assets of gang members found within the United States jurisdiction.

The designation is the first for a U.S. street gang. Among the organizations similarly designated are Japan’s Yakuza and Mexico’s Zetas, whose leader, Heriberto Lazcano, was killed by Mexican Marines on Sunday. An armed gang later stole his body from a funeral parlor.

The administration is targeting the economic core of MS-13 and the individuals who work with, enable or support it by freezing any assets that those individuals may have under U.S. jurisdiction.

Hagar Chemali, a spokeswoman for the Treasury Department said Thursday, “It is our hope that this action will generate caution within the formal financial sector to the operations of this group.”

“Financial institutions across the U.S. and foreign branches of U.S. financial institutions are obligated to immediately identify and freeze property or property interests of MS-13 and to report any such blocked assets to the Treasury Department.”

Money generated by local MS-13 groups in the United States is funneled back to the group’s leadership in El Salvador, but the official designation will make it more difficult for members of the gang to use banks and wire transfers to move their profits.


MS-13 began among El Salvadoran refugees -—many of them young ex-soldiers—- who came to Los Angeles to escape civil war in their home country in the 1980s. Salvadorans congregated in large numbers in the Pico-Union neighborhood and the area near MacArthur Park, which is where the gang started.

Since then, MS-13 has spread into Central America and east as far as Washington, D.C., which has a large Salvadoran population.


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  • Puggg

    They wouldn’t be a transnational criminal organization of any concern to us if we didn’t let El Salvadorians immigrate here.

    • America First

       I believe facts and data will show that the inundation of MS-13 began during the GWB years, and, as with the Mexican invasion, he did virtually nothing to stop it, probably conflating these fine additions to the American landscape with those Mexican illegals he loves so much.  The harder we look at his presidency  – ineffective border security, pandering to China, Mexico and Saudi Arabia, war against Iraq (which had NOTHING to do with 9-11, or any other terrorist acts against our nation), mortgage crisis, bailing out GM, etc., etc.,  – the worse he looks.  Beyond ineptitude, this man displayed and demonstrated almost treasonous indifference to our nation’s long-term security and well-being.

      • Brown-Eyed Devil addition to which, the banks and the government stand to profit from these seizures.  This nation (??) spends hundreds of billions on law enforcement-this isn’t much more than a another shakedown by our own home-grown criminals. Make their (MS13, countless others) activities (mostly drug running and manufacturing) lawful and they would disappear in a trice. And there’d be no more need for that ” War on Drugs ” that so-and-so Reagan and his handlers foisted on us in the 1980s.  This isn’t any more than a dog and pony show to keep the prols quiet, y’all.  More gangs, more law enforcement personnel….more profits for all concerned. Don’t take this press release as anything more than an attempt to keep you quiet.

          They’re not really doing anything at all.

      • The__Bobster

        I don’t think so. I blame Reagan.

        The Mara Salvatrucha gang originated in Los Angeles, set up in the 1980s by Salvadoran immigrants in the city’s Pico-Union neighborhood who immigrated to the United States after the Central American civil wars of the 1980s.[10][11]

        Originally, the gang’s main purpose was to protect Salvadoran immigrants from other, more established gangs of Los Angeles, who were predominantly composed of Mexicans and African-Americans.[12]

        • This assessment of mine has been disputed on AR, but we might have accidentally created MS-13 in our attempt to help El Salvador resist Soviet interference in the 1980s.  Just as in our attempt to help Afghanistan resist the Soviets in the 1980s, we inadvertently created AQ.

      • CADCF-14A

        Non-white immigration spurred under Reagan.

        • America First

           I don’t dispute that the first appearance of MS-13 was during Reagan’s administration, nor do I dispute – in fact have reminded some of our fellow posters numerous times  – that Reagan’s 1986 amnesty was a terrible precedent for the flood that has come since.  However, the untrammeled increase in MS-13’s numbers seems to have occurred at the time it should not have: after 9/11, during the Bush years.  Like many, I waited for Bush to slam the borders shut after that act of war; he did not, and appeared ambivalent to to anything other than commencing an unnecessary and costly overseas war.

          Bottom line, we have been ill-served by leaders of both parties.

      •  Dude your a misinformed fucking idiot Please have the common decency to hang yourself

  • Bill

    Expect to see some drive-bys of banks if this is enforced.  They should have defined MS-13 as a terrorist organization as well.  They use terrorism routinely.

    • Michael C. Scott

      Exactly.  I am on the Terrorist Watch List, after all.

      • The Worlds Scapegoat

        But you’re white and pay taxes, so you’re a bigger threat to our government than these thugs, and higher up on the list. You are about a #7 or #8 while MS-13 is anywhere from a #1 to a #3 threat.

        I am a #10 threat because I name THOSE people that must not be named.


        • Liberalssuck

           “If you want to know who your enemies are, they are the people you can not criticize.”


  • jedsrael

    Look for this new regulation to disappear because it is obviously discriminatory against Enriching Immigration, and reeks to high heaven of RACIAL PROFILING.

  • Jay11

    Law enforcement knows where the gangs congregate, where their members live and generally what crimes they are commiting.  Why don’t they go scoop them up and deport them all?  Because that’s raciss’! 

    What will you do when this and other foreign gangs show up in your little whiteopia, which are isolated islands of what used to be a contiguous, mostly safe america?

    • Periapsis

      A pity police and soldiers too aren’t going rouge and rubbing them out. The Dirty Harry movies in fact were based on rouge cops who were killing non-white criminals in Chicago with near imounity back in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Sooner or later, police, soldiers and armed citizens are going to turn vigilante because of the darkie, foreign terrorists who blow up buses and mow down innocent people with fully automatic weapons. Since our government is more lawless with each passing day, it will fall to whies to take the law in their own hands and start taking the thugs out, literally.

    • Liberalssuck

       By then, whites will have become more awakened and aggressive.  Whites can’t be passive forever.  Something will give.

  • David Ashton

    A big up-to-date book is needed on all the links between foreign immigration and transnational crimes.

  • This is a good first step.

    Perhaps the banking assets of all those Illegal Aliens could also be seized, since they are breaking the law just like MS-13 (by being here illegally!)

    Start small, think big.

  • Barrack Osama

     Who screwed up to allow something so sane to occur?

  • haroldcrews

    Aren’t people smugglers also by definition transnational criminal organizations?  Somehow I doubt that a Mexican criminal organization meets a US criminal organization at the border and hands off the illegals.  A more important question is whether illegals who are smuggled into the US by the transnational criminal organizations are also a part of those organizations.  It would stand greater examination as there are arguments either way.

  • Easyrhino1

    More US Fed-Gov idiocy:  “the official designation will make it more difficult for members of the gang to use banks and wire transfers to move their profits.”

    What a joke!  So the minimum wage paid Western Union clerk is supposed to screen MS-13 members before transferring funds and the MS-13 psychos are supposed to answer truthfully in the affirmative when asked if they belong to a gang?

    I have a wild wacky zany idea:  How about the US puts as much resources protecting our own borders (keeping out the bad guys in the process) as we do protecting countries in the ME and central Asia?  

  • The Worlds Scapegoat

    They are a Terrorist Organization.

  • Michael C. Scott

    These MS-13 creeps don’t need banks, which is why this exercise is a dog & pony show.  If an MS-13 member wants to send money somewhere, anonymously, all he has to do is buy a money order for cash from the customer service desk at a supermarket.  He then mails this money order (or orders) via regular US mail, and the recipient cashes them, either at a bank, at the customer service counter of a supermarket, or at one of the check-cashing places that are pretty much everywhere.

    Since a money order is guaranteed funds, nobody looks twice at them.

    Another way they could go is using traveller’s checks.  They’re also guaranteed funds.

    Finally, our intrepid MS-13er could carry a backpack full of drug cash onto a Greyhound bus and take it across country in person.

  • Gereng

    About time don’t you think?  These turds have been running wild for at least 25 yrs. I would guess that 90% are illegals. The problem with any build up of criminal illegals is getting their native countries to take them back.  As with the govt of Mexico they are delighted to have the Gringos so stupid they allow their semi literate Indians (Always the source of revolutions in Mexico) to enter by the millions. 

    Once a critical mass of aliens have built up they become a political fixture in the US landscape and presently the Mexicans citizens living here have at least as much political clout as native born Whites. It will be the same with these Salvadorian mud people. Once rounded up and offered back to El Salvador, that govt will flip us the bird and say: “Hey, you didn’t bother to guard your borders so these vicious criminals are now yours to keep”. Good luck! Treat them nicely or we will sue you in the International Court of Justice.

    • Periapsis

      All the more reason to hunt down, kill then dispose of these vicious enemy insurgents in a manner that ensures nobody will ever find the bones.

  • Belfastbilly

    MS13 started out as a paramilitary force fighting communist in Central America.  Contras ring a bell anyone?  Yet another bit of blowback from our friends the CIA..