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Maras: A Study of Their Origin, International Impact, and the Measures Taken to Fight Them

NCJ Number
David Jensen
Date Published
258 pages
This book presents the results of a study examining the Maras gang, their international impact, and the measures taken to fight them.
The study was conducted in order to fill the information gap concerning this gang, and to address the following issues: what is the origin of the Maras, how do they function, and how have they spread to so many countries. The study also analyzed the reactions from government officials in Central America to the threats resulting from growth of this gang. The results of the study are presented in five chapters. Chapter 1 describes the origin of the Maras and the growth of Hispanic gangs in the United States, the Central American migratory flow, why individuals join gangs and why they join the Maras, and the structure and organization of the network. Chapter 2 presents an analysis of national situation in three countries - Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, in their responses to responses to the growth of this gang, the measures taken to combat it, and the consequences of these measures. Chapter 3 is a comparative case study of the situations in the three countries highlighted in chapter 2. It examines the regional factors that contribute to the expansion of the Maras, the Maras in Central American, measures implemented, and consequences of the measures taken by the three countries. Chapter 4 analyzes the Maras and the measures taken against them from a theoretical point of view. The chapter looks at punishment and retaliation, the purposes of criminal punishment, zero tolerance policing, criminal law for the enemy, and the culture of control. Chapter 5, the final chapter, contains concluding remarks about the growth of this gang and the effects of measures taken to fight it. Tables, figures, and references