Youth Gangs

Topics: Gang, Crime, Illegal drug trade Pages: 5 (1046 words) Published: April 17, 2015
Youth gangs :
Self identify as a group: they do this by creating a name, initiation rituals, tattoos, gang signs Are recognized by society as a gang- people acknowledge the existence of the gang whether it be law enforcement or the community Participate in illegal activity- this could include things such as prostitution, drug dealing, stealing, murder A Select Territory

Have a collective goal- often times the goal is financial gain or intimidation

At risk youth in latin America
The youth that are most at risk for being involved in youth gangs are youth who grow up in a broken home, have a history of victimization, substance abuse, social isolation and personal characteristics such as low self-esteem. Youth who join a gang and suffer from some of these factors are often looking for acceptance or to belong to something Socio-economic factors such as inequality and poverty also contribute to being a risk factor. Approximately 1/3 of the Latin American population is living in poverty with an additional 71 million people living in extreme poverty. Research shows that the countries in Latin America that exhibit the highest rates of poverty also have the highest homicide rates. Youth may resort to joining a gang to escape poverty or as coping mechanism from living a disadvantaged life Latin America also has very high unemployment rates and high drop out rates. In some countries the percentage of youth not enrolled in school is as high as 63%. This leaves youth with little skills to find work and also the frustration of not being able to support themselves through legitimate means. Urbanization and Institutional Weakness- there are many fast growing cities in Latin America but the security, justice and necessary institutions have not yet been fully developed. Corruption and mistrust is also a huge factor and these contribute to youth feeling like they won’t get caught or punished for joining a gang. Latin American Cultural Norms also have a huge effect on youth gang affiliation. The Latin American culture emphasizes machismo and masculinity. Youth see violence as a way to gain power and respect and look tough. The Latin culture also has gender differences deeply embedded and many men feel they have power over women which contributes to much physical and sexual violence against women. El Salvador

So heres El Salvador on a map, its surrounded by Honduras and Guatemala. It’s a very small country, smaller than Massachusetts. But it is the most densely populated country in Central America. Some crime stats on El Salvador:

Stats from 2013 determined it is the 4th deadliest country in the world with 40.3 homicides per 100,000. In the first 8 months of 2014 11 people a day were being killed, which is very high for a population size that small. Since 2013 over 2000 people have gone missing without a trace in El Salvador. El Salvador police estimate that the country has over 60,000 gang members with the majority of them being under the age of 20. Gangs are responsible for 90% of the homicides that occur in El Salvador. Also has the highest youth homicide rate in the world.

Formed in Los Angeles, California in the 1980s by immigrant Salvadorian youth and young adults who were being victimized by other gangs Many of their founding members had experience or training in guerilla warfare, thus gaining a level of sophistication that their enemies could not compete with. The gang has spread to regions all over the world but has major control in El Salvador. They identify themselves through tattoos, sometimes the size of the tattoo is a indicator of your rank in the gang. They also use the colors blue and white as their gang colors and the number 13. Often members will wear sports attire that has the number 13 or some variation of it. Gang signs such as the devils horns. MS-13 is referred to one of the most dangerous gangs in the world because of their international status and their ride range of criminal activity. The are...
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