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“The depictions of MS-13 as animals are as simplistic as they are dehumanizing. And they obscure what spawned the violent gang in the first place: US imperialism.” —Belén Fernández, author of EXILE, reviews A YEAR INSIDE MS-13 for Jacobin

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

The US Created MS-13

Last year, Donald Trump’s administration issued a press release titled “What You Need To Know About The Violent Animals Of MS-13,” the El Salvador–based transnational gang. The dispatch deployed the term “animals” an additional nine times in its explanation of how Mara Salvatrucha “follows the motto of ‘kill, rape, control’ by committing shocking acts of violence in an attempt to instill fear and gain control.”

Considering this motto could also apply to the past many decades of US military intervention worldwide, it seems there might be More Important Things You Need To Know about transnational violence — like the United States’s role in the rise of MS-13 itself.

Read the full review here.