Gang Violence In Central America

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The purpose of this research is to draw a connection between a history of gang violence in Central America and drug trafficking in Mexico and Central American and Mexican migration patterns to the U.S. Beyond that, this paper highlights U.S. involvement in the increase of gang violence specifically in Honduras and El Salvador, and how the U.S. demand for narcotics has fueled the Drug War throughout Latin America but mostly in Mexico. This paper also shows how U.S. policies on the legalization of certain drugs and criminal justice reforms can decrease illegal immigration and improve the lives of people seeking to migrate north.

Introduction
As large numbers of Central American and Mexican migrants continue to cross the United States’ southern border, many
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It was the 1980’s and the middle of the cold war and the Reagan administration, fearful of communist expansion in Central America supported the military-backed governments in Central America with arms and money. Thousands of El Salvadorans and Guatemalans were killed at the hands of these military governments, in Guatemala the killings were mostly of the indigenous population and what the government did is now considered a genocide. Central Americans began arriving in the U.S. in large numbers in the 1980s, when both countries were suffering through the height of conflict. Many settled in Los Angeles, especially a large population of Salvadorans, who moved into working-class urban neighborhoods. There was already heavy gang presence in Los Angeles, predominantly Mexican-American and African-American gangs. Seeking protection and lacking stable families of their own, Central American kids began drawing together for protection, and eventually created two separate gangs, Mara Salvatrucha and the rival 18th Street gang that have by now become powerful international criminal

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