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This is how the ‘maras’ were born, to which El Salvador and Honduras have declared war

The 1980s were marked by the civil wars in El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua, and the economic instability in Honduras that motivated a significant number of Central Americans to emigrate to the United States. Many people ended up in poor districts of Los Angeles, California.

Adolescents from migrant families suffered social exclusion and even ethnic violence. To confront the hostile environment on the streets, the diaspora first joined Chicano gangs and later formed their own groups, the best known being the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the Mara Barrio-18 (18th Street Gang), in reference to the street where it . . .

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