Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

July 8, 2005 — Passersby in Santa Tecla, El Salvador, look on as a police officer detains a member of the Mara Salvatrucha street gang as part of an ongoing operation called "Mano Dura," which means "hard hand."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

July 8, 2005 — A Mara Salvatrucha gang member known as "Denver" maintains a look of defiance as he and other gang members are shown to the media following a police roundup in a gang-plagued neighborhood of San Salvador.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

July 9, 2005 — A member of the Mara Salvatrucha Marineros clique uses a cellphone to contact an associate in Virginia from the backyard of his home in San Miguel, El Salvador. The Marineros formed in San Miguel, but have since spread to the East Coast of the United States.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

July 12, 2005 — An inmate is framed by bars, drying laundry and an American flag at Ciudad Barrios Penitentiary in El Salvador, which is solely devoted to more than 900 incarcerated members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang. Inmates essentially run the prison during daylight hours as guards mainly stay outside barred gates leading to the cellblocks.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

July 12, 2005 — A pair of inmates hang out in a yard at Ciudad Barrios Penitentiary in El Salvador, a crowded, aging prison devoted solely to 900 incarcerated members of the Mara Salvatrucha gang.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

July 11, 2005 — A Mara Salvatrucha gang member named Snoopy smokes marijuana during a visit to a cemetery near Barrio Lourdes, El Salvador, where two fellow gang members are buried. The pair were recent victims of gang violence that has plagued this Central American nation.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

July 6, 2005 — Melvin Cruz-Mendoza, 23, stands stripped to the waist as he is processed by Salvadoran National Police after arriving from the United States aboard a plane filled with deportees. A member of the street gang called Mara Salvatrucha, Cruz-Mendoza was deported because he is a convicted felon. However, he said he planned to begin a journey north to try to illegally re-enter the United States.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

August 24, 2005 — Prince George's County officers shake down a group of Mara Salvatrucha gang members at a low-income apartment complex in Langley Park, Md.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

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U.S labels MS-13 street gang 'criminal organization'

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U.S labels MS-13 street gang ‘criminal organization’

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.

In 2005 Los Angeles Times photographer Luis Sinco photographed members of MS-13 or Mara Salvatrucha in Los Angeles and El Salvador to document the role of U.S. deportation policies.

Read more: Feds target gang born in L.A.


  1. October 13, 2012, 4:19 pm


    By: howardbamber
  2. October 15, 2012, 6:06 pm

    . No punishments , no guards , just a matter of survival of the fitest. Inital dropoff at these colonies , prisoners will be gven food for three months , there are various places like Barracks to live at , however tents and survival gear will be provided. Prisoners can try to escape but no help from the outside allowed, Colonies will be monitored by satellite anyone attempting to aid anybody on th Islands will be blown out of the water. All citizens will be notified of the new Justice system, also all people in ther countries trying to attack or kill americans will be sent to these colonies, no trials . All current prison inmats not n deathrow or Life sentence without patrol will finish their sentence and warned break the law and will be sent to those penal colonies. This wil save the states & federal Government 68 billion dollars a year in cost of taking care of prisoners a year.

  3. October 15, 2012, 6:14 pm

    All Gangs in MS13 should be sent to the new US PENAL Colonies in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska , they will be opened in April 2013, All Deathrow Inmates, Guantanimo Prisoners , Terrorists , underware bomber, 42nd Street terrorist plus Hasan who kiled 18 military soldiers at Fort Hood. They will allbe transferred there to live out the rest of their lives, if nyone is caught here in the US or anyway in the world trying to hurt Americans , no trial , all sent to the penal colonies to live out the rest of their lives. No Parole , no appeals , it will be announced to the world. That also includes all politicians , federal workers, former presidents and legislatues who lied and cheated the Amrican people.

  4. August 13, 2013, 7:34 am

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good.

    I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are

    not already 😉 Cheers!

    By: Marilou

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