“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Friday, September 04, 2009

MS-13, Born in El Salvador, Tuned in USA, Cranked for crime

MS-13 member admits to fatal shooting of 15-year-old
Examiner Staff Writer
September 2, 2009

A member of a violent Hispanic street gang pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing a teenager in a gang-related dispute at a Prince George's County strip mall.

Jorge Rigorberto Amador, 33, admitted in federal court in Greenbelt to racketeering charges, including squeezing the trigger of the gun used to slay 15-year-old Jose Manuel Arias in 2005. Amador is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 9 and faces life in prison.

Prosecutors said Amador, whose street name is Santa Diablo (or Saint Devil), was a member of the La Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, comprised mostly of immigrants or descendants of immigrants from El Salvador and boasting a huge presence throughout Prince George's and Montgomery counties. Amador moved from the Langley Park Salvatruchas clique to the Hollywood Locos Salvatruchas clique of MS-13.

On March 26, 2005, MS-13 members searching for their rivals spotted members of the 18th Street Gang and contacted Amador and another leader to help confront them. Amador admitted in court that he drove up to a car containing young men, pulled out a .38-caliber revolver wrapped in a dark bandana and fired several shots, killing Arias. Amador met up with other rivals and they discussed how to get rid of the gun and car.

Amador also admitted that he went to a nightclub in Langley Park and hit and injured a member of the rival gang with a broken beer bottle. Two days later, Amador and another large group of MS-13 members attended the Hispanic Heritage Festival in Hyattsville, where they chased down a a teenager who wore a No. 18 sports jersey, which is often used to signify an affiliation with the 18th Street Gang. A running fight ensued throughout the park, terrorizing festivalgoers, with Amador and others seriously injuring the father of the teen who wore the jersey.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland so far has charged 51 MS-13 members with various federal offenses. Twenty-four members have been convicted and 19 have pleaded guilty to other charges, primarily immigration or gun violations. The remainder are awaiting trial.



Gangs are the heart of violent crime in Salvador, Central America
(AFP) – 12 hours ago

SAN SALVADOR — Violent gangs known here as "maras" have thousands of members in El Salvador, a bloody hand in 60 percent of murders, and are active in extorsion, drug dealing and arms trafficking, authorities say.

Every day, about 12 people are murdered in El Salvador, a small densely populated country.
On Wednesday, Franco-Spanish filmmaker Christian Poveda, 54, was found shot to death near his vehicle on a road north of the capital, a National Civil Police spokesman told AFP.

He had been filming in La Campanera, a suburb controlled by drug gangs known as "maras," before his death.
Investigators said it is not clear whether he was the victim of a robbery or been killed by some of the very gang members whose lives he had meticulously documented.

The gangs with the deepest ranks are Mara Salvatrucha (Salvadoran Gang) also known as MS-13 and its archrival Mara 18 or M-18. Together they have about 11,000 members, though police say the number might be as high as 18,000.

Gangs arose in this impoverished country of about seven million during the lawlessness of the civil war, from 1980-1992, as local groups battled for turf from city neighborhoods to mountain villages.

Early gangs such as Mara Maquina, Mara Gallo and La Fosa often specilized in holdups to steal cash.

But then the civil war sent thousands of Salvadorans into exile in the United States. Some picked up new tricks on the streets of Los Angeles.

A new gang was born in the 1980s when groups of Latin American migrants -- most from Mexico and some from Central America -- formed Mara 18. Its name comes from 18th Street in Los Angeles.

Then Salvadorans and other immigrants from Guatemala and Honduras founded Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13, which gets its name from Los Angeles' 13th Street.

After the end of the civil war in 1992, many Salvadorans began to be deported from the United States, including gang members with criminal records.

Once in El Salvador, deported gangsters started to form local units of Mara Salvatrucha or Mara 18, recruiting young people in very poor neighborhoods and edging out local gangs.

According to Poveda, whose documentary "La vida loca" will premiere in France September 30, the maras have 50,000 members in the United States, 35,000 in Honduras, 15,000 in Guatemala and 15,000 in El Salvador.

In April 2005, Central American nations, Mexico and the United States held a summit on how to counter the gangs.
But results have been less than impressive. And non-governmental organizations often criticize governments for hardline crackdowns that fail to get to the social and economic roots of the problem.


  1. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh.


  2. red in pink and peacock. the peacock part will be hot.

  3. Van Jones' Resume - Political News

    The following is a list of key accomplishments, professional positions and events in the life of Van Jones -- the White House "green jobs" adviser.

  4. Van Jones Worked on the Green Jobs Act in 2007 with then-Rep. Hilda Solis, D-Calif., who co-sponsored the bill in the House.

    Solis confirmed as labor secretary - Politics

  5. In the Middle East, they have their criminal terrorists and in the Americas we have our own to worry about.

    The sectarians want US to believe the Middle Eastern criminals are the greatest threat, to US. They are either misinformed or have a perspective that is biased by their sectarianism and the divided loyalties that their religious views create.


  6. Another disastrous air strike that Nato could have done without

    Killing of Afghan civilians poses bigger danger to the international mission than insurgents who were targeted

    Julian Borger, diplomatic editor,

  7. Add to that those private security contractors and you have a public relations nightmare.

  8. Yep, for those folks inside the wire, why it is back to the future.

    Where they can party all the time, on the taxpayer dime


    The unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent in August, the highest since June 1983, as employers eliminated a net total of 216,000 jobs.

    Analysts expect businesses will be reluctant to hire until they are convinced the economy is on a firm path to recovery. Many private economists, and the Federal Reserve, expect the unemployment rate to top 10 percent by the end of this year.

    While the jobless rate rose more than expected, the number of job cuts is less than July's upwardly revised total of 276,000 and the lowest in a year, according to Labor Department data released Friday. Economists expected the unemployment rate to rise to 9.5 percent from July's 9.4 percent and job reductions to total 225,000.

    If laid-off workers who have settled for part-time work or have given up looking for new jobs are included, the so-called underemployment rate reached 16.8 percent, the highest on records dating from 1994.

  10. Instead of targeting base camps and infrastructure in Pakistan, the US is striking at local villagers, with our substantial "Death from Above" capacity, well after the enemy has left the area.

    We could not have fallen further into the trap set by Osama, if we had tried.

    The obvious solution, send more guys.
    Next to fuckin' insane, that plan.

    Expand the cluster fuck!
    It's the Army Way!

  11. I thought that was deuce's answer to our problems - death from above, only bigger faster and nuclear?

  12. The targeting of Tora Bora, with heavy weapons could have been justified, and would have created an even greater "Gadaffi Effect", than Iraq did.

    Tactical nukes or massive conventional weapons strikes against that mountain could have made sense, geopolitically.

    Hitting an abandoned tanker truck, surrounded by the local villagers, that's just bad form.

  13. As you know I've been not impressed with most of the health care debate so far. David Brooks has a good op/ed piece that suggests some decent areas to debate.

    " Goldhill’s main message is that the American health care system is dysfunctional at the core. He vividly describes how the system hides information, muddies choices, encourages more treatment instead of better care, neglects cheap innovation, inflates costs and unintentionally increases suffering.

    The essay is about the real problem: the insane incentives. Goldhill is especially good on the way the voracious health care system soaks up money that could go to education, the environment, economic development and a thousand other priorities. Health care, he writes, “simply keeps gobbling up national resources, seemingly without regard to other societal needs.”

    Then I’d ask Obama to go to the Brookings Institution Web site and read a report called “Bending the Curve: Effective Steps to Address Long-Term Health Care Spending Growth.” This report was written by a bipartisan group of battle-tested experts, including Mark McClellan, David Cutler, Elizabeth McGlynn, Joseph Antos and John Bertko.

    This report also focuses on the key issue: perverse incentives. It’s got a series of proposals on how to restructure insurance markets, reorganize provider payments, change the way effectiveness-research findings are implemented and cap the employee tax deduction."

    He references an article (by Goldhill) in the Atlantic which is worth reading:

    Keeping Dad company in the hospital for five weeks had left me befuddled. How can a facility featuring state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment use less-sophisticated information technology than my local sushi bar? How can the ICU stress the importance of sterility when its trash is picked up once daily, and only after flowing onto the floor of a patient’s room? Considering the importance of a patient’s frame of mind to recovery, why are the rooms so cheerless and uncomfortable? In whose interest is the bizarre scheduling of hospital shifts, so that a five-week stay brings an endless string of new personnel assigned to a patient’s care? Why, in other words, has this technologically advanced hospital missed out on the revolution in quality control and customer service that has swept all other consumer-facing industries in the past two generations?

    I’m a businessman, and in no sense a health-care expert. But the persistence of bad industry practices—from long lines at the doctor’s office to ever-rising prices to astonishing numbers of preventable deaths—seems beyond all normal logic, and must have an underlying cause. There needs to be a business reason why an industry, year in and year out, would be able to get away with poor customer service, unaffordable prices, and uneven results—a reason my father and so many others are unnecessarily killed."

  14. "Indeed, I suspect that our collective search for villains—for someone to blame—has distracted us and our political leaders from addressing the fundamental causes of our nation’s health-care crisis. All of the actors in health care—from doctors to insurers to pharmaceutical companies—work in a heavily regulated, massively subsidized industry full of structural distortions. They all want to serve patients well. But they also all behave rationally in response to the economic incentives those distortions create. Accidentally, but relentlessly, America has built a health-care system with incentives that inexorably generate terrible and perverse results. Incentives that emphasize health care over any other aspect of health and well-being. That emphasize treatment over prevention. That disguise true costs. That favor complexity, and discourage transparent competition based on price or quality. That result in a generational pyramid scheme rather than sustainable financing. And that—most important—remove consumers from our irreplaceable role as the ultimate ensurer of value."

  15. No Ash, as usual you get it 85% right. I will restate for you once more. The only interest that the US should have had after 911 was to punish the people that attacked us and send a message to any other state (country) that hosts and welcomes terrorist camps.

    Those camps were known. The enemy hit the Pentagon, tried to take out the Capitol, and took down both Trade Towers in New York City. They killed 3000 Americans and did hundreds of billions in economic damage.

    The US hold thousands of tactical nuclear weapons. There was never more provocation or better targets and use for those weapons. They should have been used promptly.

    The message would not have been lost on anyone except the insane. There would have been no future need for the US to occupy Afghanistan.

    It would have been appropriate, disproportionate and violent to the extreme. Similar conditions do not exist now.

    The bombing of a couple of fuel trucks stuck in a river must have been approved by a moron who has no clue about the culture in a poor country.

    It would be the equivalent of attacking an overturned Brinks truck on a US interstate because peole were climbing all over it for the money.

  16. "Expand the cluster fuck!
    It's the Army Way!
    Special Forces detailed all that was wrong with the RA 7 years ago.
    (When they were told they were no longer needed.)

  17. 12 guys on horses accomplished 90% of the mission.
    Would have been VERY bad form to finish it in Tora Bora.
    Long Wars Rock!

  18. "All of the actors in health care—from doctors to insurers to pharmaceutical companies—work in a heavily regulated, massively subsidized industry full of structural distortions."
    Obviously, more subsidization and regulation is the answer!
    Single Payer Now!

  19. UAR begins deporting Palestinians claiming they represent a security risk_

    ha ha ha

  20. WiO said,

    "UAR begins deporting Palestinians claiming they represent a security risk"

    Why, WiO, that is SOOOOO sectarian!


    Re: "Army way"

    The US Navy once killed and wounded hundreds of US Army paratroopers. Here is a clue, war ain't bean bag and bad stuff happens. Get over it!

  21. Yes, allen, when you shoot your own folks, you can get over it.

    When others shoot you, claiming they're there to protect you, the memory lives on, forever.

    It is not about us.
    It is about them. They are not going to "get over it". Sometimes, on some issues, you are dumber than a rock.

    For someone to claims to be retired military, you sure aren't up to speed on military standards and practices.

    Seven years ago, doug?
    I knew 27 years ago.
    Not much has changed.

  22. 2164th wrote:

    "Those camps were known."

    really? I'd guess that the 'camps' were pretty darn small and innocuous making it a tough job for intel to identify and locate. Even assuming we knew all the locations at the time and we wiped them out would that really have solved the Afghanistan problem? Is not the 'problem' more intimately entwined with the culture and the population as a whole?

  23. Little wonder that bob has left Idaho ...

    BOISE, Idaho — A federal appeals court delivered a stinging rebuke Friday to the Bush administration's post-Sept. 11 detention policies, ruling that former Attorney General John Ashcroft can be held liable for people who were wrongfully detained as material witnesses after 9/11.

    A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the government's improper use of material witnesses after Sept. 11 was "repugnant to the Constitution and a painful reminder of some of the most ignominious chapters of our national history."

    The court found that a man who was detained as a witness in a federal terrorism case can sue Ashcroft for allegedly violating his constitutional rights. Abdullah al-Kidd, a U.S. citizen and former University of Idaho student, filed the lawsuit against Ashcroft and other officials in 2005, claiming his civil rights were violated when he was detained as a material witness for two weeks in 2003.

    al-Kidd said the investigation and detention not only caused him to lose a scholarship to study in Saudi Arabia, but cost him employment opportunities and caused his marriage to fall apart.

    He argued that his detention exemplified an illegal government policy created by Ashcroft to arrest and detain people — particularly Muslim men and those of Arab decent — as material witnesses if the government suspected them of a crime but had no evidence to charge them.

    Ashcroft had asked the judge to dismiss the matter, saying that because his position at the Department of Justice was prosecutorial he was entitled to absolute immunity from the lawsuit.

    Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller would only say Friday that the agency is reviewing the opinion.

    al-Kidd's attorney, Lee Gelernt of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the ruling by the three-judge panel had implications reaching far beyond the government's actions in detaining material witnesses post-Sept. 11.

    "The use of the material witness statute as a post-9/11 detention tool is one of the least understood parts of the post 9/11 landscape, but it has enormous implications because it was done in secret and the government has never renounced the policy," Gelernt said. "Our hope is that we can now begin the process of uncovering the full contours of this illegal national policy."

    The 9th Circuit judges said Al-Kidd's claims plausibly suggest that Ashcroft purposely used the material witness statute to detain suspects whom he wished to investigate and detain preventively.

    "Sadly, however, even now, more than 217 years after the ratification of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, some confidently assert that the government has the power to arrest and detain or restrict American citizens for months on end, in sometimes primitive conditions, not because there is evidence that they have committed a crime, but merely because the government wishes to investigate them for possible wrongdoing, or to prevent them from having contact with others in the outside world,"

    Judge Milan D. Smith Jr., for the majority.

    "We find this to be repugnant to the Constitution and a painful reminder of some of the most ignominious chapters of our national history."

  24. Taliban militants had hijacked the two tankers on the main road out of Kunduz, in northern Afghanistan, and driven them to Omar Kheil, which is under their control, about 12 miles from the city. The hijacking, on Thursday night, was reported to the German Nato soldiers garrisoned nearby, who spotted the lorries this morning. At some point the German commander called in an air strike to deal with the problem. Estimates differ as to how many people were killed in the fireball, but they range from a few score to more than a hundred.

    Moeen Marastial, a member of parliament from Kunduz, said: "Local people are telling me 130 people have been killed despite all the promises of Nato to do fewer bombardments and reduce civilian casualties. There will be a reaction to this. It is a very bad day for international forces in Afghanistan."

    Reported by the Guardian, out of the UK

  25. The Light is gonna shine.

    ... former Attorney General John Ashcroft can be held liable for people who were wrongfully detained as material witnesses after 9/11.

    Courtesy of the Associated Press.

  26. How illuminating, a Federal to be held personally responsible for his actions while holding and exercising Federal authority.
    Seems there may have been a little personal responsibility attached to that authority.

    Whether Mr al-Kidd has the ability to win his suit on its' merits, another matter entirely.

    Sept. 4 (Bloomberg) -- A federal appeals court today said former Attorney General John Ashcroft can be sued by a U.S. citizen who was detained for 16 days without charges as a material witness in a terrorism case.

    The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, upholding a lower court, rejected Ashcroft’s contention that he was legally immune because he wasn’t personally involved in the Justice Department’s detention policies. The panel reversed the lower court’s conclusion that Abdullah al-Kidd could also sue Ashcroft over the conditions of the detention.

  27. ash, there were the "camps" and there was Tora Bora.

    It does not pay to equate them, as they each held different strategic, tactical and propaganda positions.

    I would grant the Tomahawk cruise missile strikes were ineffective against training camps. So to would have been large scale strikes, as there would never have been that many trainees present and they would have been of dubious value, tactically or strategically.

    The propaganda value of their destruction, really an unknowable.

    Tora Bora, though, an entirely different affair. The enemy "High Command" was there and was known to be there. The reliance on local forces to contain them, a farcical decision that should have rolled heads.

    If the US had used its' air force to maximum effect, even without tactical nukes, the "Cause" could well have died on the mountain, along with its' martyrs.

    Instead they regrouped in Pakistan and started both rebuilding their Afghan networks and creating new ones across the wide whirled of failed States.

  28. doug mentioned the aged KC-135 fleet, more than once. The WTO has held that AirBus, the company that Maverick McCain favors for the deal to replace those venerable tankers, to have been receiving illegal subsidies from its' host nations.

    Boeing thinks that should count in the decision making.

    * Boeing backers say WTO must be factored in

    * Airbus backers say WTO is irrelevant

    U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, a Democrat from Washington state,
    where Boeing does much of its aircraft manufacturing, said
    Friday that turning a blind eye was not acceptable in light of
    the WTO ruling such as he described it.

    "The U.S. government cannot reward illegal market actions
    that have harmed U.S. manufacturers and stolen U.S. aerospace
    jobs," he said in a statement.

    Todd Tiahrt, a Republican from Kansas -- where the Boeing
    tankers would undergo final assembly -- added: "The Department
    of Defense can no longer put its head in the sand and ignore
    internationally confirmed illegal subsidies that have for years
    tipped the scales in favor of European workers."

    Tiahrt said he had been briefed on the ruling by the Office
    of the U.S. Trade Representative.

    "It is time to move forward with the only clear solution to
    the replacement of the KC-135 aerial refueling tanker," he
    said, referring to the 767 offered by Boeing in the last
    competition. "We need an American tanker built by an American
    company with American workers."

    Sen. Patty Murray, a Washington Democrat, said the Defense
    Department "needs to answer to how this violation of WTO rules
    will be considered in the competition for the vital aerial
    refueling tanker."

    The Defense Department declined to take a stance.

  29. Ms 13 open for murder buiseniss. Cirkel Carlo Sweeden
    Evald Ryghs gate 12
    0173 Oslo
    Dead End