El Salvador, Latin America, Gangs, Migration, Culture of Violence, Northern Triangle, US Politics


Gang violence in El Salvador has resulted in conditions that have perpetuated an environment of terror and culture of violence. This paper aims to understand the emergence of transnational gangs in El Salvador and the US involvement in this process. The article is divided into the following subtitles; 1980s civil war and the repercussions of US involvement, Salvadorans migration to the US and reverse migration (with a focus on Los Angeles and San Salvador), and US exportation of heavy-handed policies to El Salvador’s institutionalized use of political violence. The paper concludes that US involvement in El Salvador created a foundation for a culture of violence and through interlinked factors US influence and actions instigated circumstances for gang proliferated in El Salvador.

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