Photo: MS-13 Designated as U.S. Criminal Organization
The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) with the assistance of the Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) today is designating the Latin American gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) as a transnational criminal organization (TCO).
Using the authority provided in E.O. 13581, Treasury is targeting the economic power of MS-13 as a transnational criminal network – and those individuals and entities who work with them, enable them and support them – by freezing any assets those persons may have within U.S. jurisdiction.
MS-13 is being designated for its involvement in serious criminal activities, including drug trafficking, human smuggling and sex trafficking, murder and violence, racketeering, and immigration offenses. MS-13, consisting of at least 30,000 members and present in at least five countries, including the U.S.
MS-13’s creed is exemplified by one of its mottos, “mata, roba, viola, controla,” which translates in sum and substance to “kill, steal, rape, control.” In addition, MS-13 members have been responsible for numerous killings within the United States.
Since 2006, HSI has arrested 4,078 MS-13 gang members. MS-13 is the first transnational criminal street gang designated as a TCO. Others TCOs include The Brothers’ Circle, Camorra, Yakuza, and Los Zetas in the United States.