US President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions met Tuesday morning to discuss the notoriously violent Salvadorean gang MS-13.
Donald Trump signed an executive order shortly after taking office in which he asked the Justice Department to convene a working group to go after transnational criminal organizations like MS-13, whose formal name is Mara Salvatrucha. They have been based mainly in El Salvador since 1990 when there was a wave of deportations from the United States, and many in the criminal hierarchy set up shop in the troubled Central American nation.
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The US president blamed President Barack Obama’s open border policies for the spread of Mara Salvatrucha in the United States: “The Obama administration’s weak illegal immigration policies allowed for the formation of harmful gangs like MS-13 in cities across the United States, but we’re eliminating them quickly!” Said Donald Trump via his Twitter account.
Attorney General Sessions echoed President Trump’s rhetoric at the opening of a meeting on organized crime:
“Due to an open border and years of lax immigration enforcement MS-13 has been sending recruiters and members to regenerate gangs that had previously been decimated. They are not content to simply ruin the lives of the recruited adults, but they also infiltrate our secondary schools, our middle schools, and even our elementary schools.”
According to Sessions in the United States there are approximately 10,000 members of MS-13 spread across 40 states, while in El Salvador there are an estimated 30,000.
Sessions said the United States will defeat Mara Salvatrucha by increasing border security as well as enforcing immigration law:
“If you’re a gang member, we’ll find you. We will devastate their networks,” said the attorney general who also indicated that this work will be similar to the one that the federal government has implemented in the past to “end the Mafia and the Colombian cartels.”
For his part, National Security Secretary John Kelly also referred to the issue through an editorial for the Boston Globe: “There is no better argument for establishing secure borders than transnational criminal organizations, and since being sworn in as secretary, in three months, we have increased our efforts to actively secure our borders and enforce our immigration laws,” Kelly said.
Source: The Daily Caller
Español Through his Twitter account, President Juan Manuel Santos said he is concerned about recent statements in which Nicolas Maduro said he will arm 500,000 civilians with rifles; and that the appropriation has already been approved for the upcoming budget. Venezuela has been suffering from crises across the board in recent years, but things have particularly spiraled out of control this year. Santos made a "call to sanity" and said he had major "concerns" about the possibility of 500,000 men entering the Bolivarian militias as a result of the delivery of arms to civilians. Already 11 countries have spoken out about the dangers of such a possibility, a development which Maduro has described as "interference" with his domestic policy. Read More: Protecting Maduro, Santos Turns his Back on Colombians Read More: Santos Bends Over, Undermines Democracy for Maduro The Colombian leader, who until now has spared his criticism of the Venezuelan regime, has gradually, along with Colombia's foreign minister, been speaking out more regarding the situation in Venezuela. However, he remains an advocate of a negotiated solution to the Venezuelan crisis. Maduro, on April 16, described as indispensable to begin "the organization and training of a million organized, trained and armed militiamen to defend the peace" according to statements published by Cablenoticias and various media outlets. Maduro aims to defend his regime against civil unrest from a Venezuelan population tired of the political and social unrest, as well as alleged threats from other countries, which he claims seek to destabilize his regime. Colombia's reaction was not the only one. Another 11 countries have sent a letter demanding that Maduro schedule regional elections to help resolve Venezuela's current crisis. Protesters have promised to take to the streets this week in a massive show of force against the Maduro regime, which has been beset by massive shortages, rampant inflation, widespread crime, and high levels of corruption. Maduro claims an "economic war" coordinated by his geopolitical enemies has destabilized the country, while economists largely point to the inept planning of Venezuela's ruling socialist party. Source: Cablenoticias, Cablenoticias, BBC