How the MS-13 gang actually works, according to a former member

Alex Sanchez is a former high-ranking member of MS-13. He became involved in the gang in the 1980s in Los Angeles and participated in its expansion. Sanchez was deported to El Salvador in 1994 along with 4,000 other Salvadorans. There, he began to recruit young members into the gang. He was involved in robberies, street fights, and carjackings, and he survived being shot four times. Sanchez decided to leave MS-13 in the mid-1990s. He is now the executive director of Homies Unidos and is a violence-prevention worker and expert on gang culture. He speaks with Business Insider about the Los Angeles Police Department, tattooing, rules and codes, media perception, and the political language used to depict the gang, such as Donald Trump’s comments in 2018. Sanchez’s story is profiled in the books “MS-13: The Making of America’s Most Notorious Gang” and “Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas.” Find out more:

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