Take Two

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by Alex Cohen & A Martínez

US targets finances of the violent Salvadoran MS-13 street gang

by Take Two

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Mara Salvatrucha gang members remain at the prison of Ciudad Barrios, 160 km east of San Salvador, El Salvador on June 19, 2012. JOSE CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images

The violent Salvadoran gang Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13 for short, with close ties to Southern California has become the first street gang to be called a, "transnational criminal organization" by the U.S. government.

The move gives the U.S. new tools to go after the gang, freezing the millions of dollars it earns from its criminal activities.

The gang became more of a cross-border threat after the U.S. government deported hundreds of gang members back to Central America, dramatically increasing violence there.

But in El Salvador things appear to be turning around. Aquil Basheer, of the gang intervention training group Maximum Force Enterprises, was in El Salvador, He joins the show to give us an update,

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