HomeNewsBriefUS Announces Arrest of Almost 800 Suspected Gang Members
BRIEF

US Announces Arrest of Almost 800 Suspected Gang Members

MS13 / 26 APR 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) announced the detention of 792 alleged gang members in a nationwide raid, including alleged members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18.

The raid, dubbed "Project Nefarious," saw arrests in 150 cities, targeting members of 28 transnational gangs, reports Univision. Some 290 of the detainees were foreign nationals, hailing from countries including El Salvador and Honduras.

Only 479 of those detained are facing criminal charges. Many of the foreign nationals with irregular immigration status will likely face deportation. In Chicago, for example, just three of the 29 detainees are facing criminal charges, while the rest detainees are in deportation proceedings.

InSight Crime Analysis

Deportations from the US played a key role in strengthening criminal networks in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador in the last two decades. MS-13 and Barrio 18 originally started out as street gangs in Los Angeles, but spread to Central America when the US repatriated thousands of gang members back to their home countries, This spurred the groups to evolve into sophisticated criminal organizations in the region, particularly in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

The majority of the foreign nationals deported back to Central America are not convicted criminals. Of the more than 27,500 people deported to Honduras in 2009, three-quarters had not been convicted of any crime. Of the just over 30,200 people deported Guatemala and around 21,000 sent back to El Salvador that same year, 21.5 percent and 30 percent, respectively, had a criminal record. Last year, an average of 1,500 Honduran nationals were deported per month.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

GENDER AND CRIME / 28 MAY 2014

Authorities in Providence, Rhode Island have dismantled four residential brothels this year, shedding light on the receiving end…

BARRIO 18 / 21 JAN 2015

In a stark statement illustrating the gravity of the current situation in El Salvador, the director of the country's civilian…

BARRIO 18 / 19 JUL 2012

Honduras' street gangs have evolved over the last decade in response to tough anti-gang laws, focusing on building ties with…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…

THE ORGANIZATION

Coverage of Fallen Paraguay Prosecutor Makes Headlines

20 MAY 2022

The murder of leading anti-crime prosecutor, Marcelo Pecci, while on honeymoon in Colombia, has drawn attention to the evolution of organized crime in Paraguay. While 17 people have been arrested…