18th Street gang is no Match to ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Taliban and Hezbollah and Political/Radical Islam in the Indigenous Mayan Southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador Central America Northern Triangle

18th Street gang is no Match to ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Taliban and Hezbollah and Political/Radical Islam in the Indigenous Mayan Southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador Central America Northern Triangle

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18th Street gang, also known as Calle 18, Barrio 18, La18 or Mara-18 in Central America,[1][3][4][5] is a multi-ethnic transnational criminal organization that started as a street gang in the Rampart area of Los Angeles, California. They are considered to be the largest transnational criminal gang in Los Angeles and it is estimated that there are tens of thousands of members in Los Angeles County alone. Their wide-ranging illegal activities and notoriety has come to the attention of the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In the early 2000s, the government initiated raids against known and suspected gang members netting hundreds of arrests across the country.

History

18th Street gang started near 18th Street and Union Avenue in the Rampart District of Los Angeles.[1] There is conflicting information as to the exact area, but this is a generally accepted area by most academic sources. They were originally part of Clanton 14 but wanted to make a separate clique called Clanton 18th Street and allow immigrants the opportunity to join. This proposal was rejected by the Clanton 14, which led to the formation of the 18th Street gang. The two gangs have been bitter rivals ever since.[6] The 18th Street gang grew by expanding its membership to other nationalities and races, and it was among the first multiracial, multi-ethnic gangs in Los Angeles.[1] In the beginning, they were made up largely of second-generation Hispanics.[1] As the 18th Street gang began to battle with more established Hispanic gangs, they began to recruit outside the Hispanic community. There are approximately 200 separate individual autonomous gangs operating under the same name within separate barrios in the San Fernando Valley, the San Gabriel Valley, South Bay, Riverside California, East Los Angeles, South Los Angeles, Downtown Los Angeles, Pico Union, Inglewood, Lynwood, South Gate, Huntington Park, Maywood, Long Beach, Orange County, and Los Angeles’ Westside, according to the latest figures from the NDIC.[citation needed] In the early 2000s, the Federal Bureau of Investigation initiated wide-scale raids against known and suspected gang members, netting hundreds of arrests across the country.

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Central America

As what may have started as a Mexican gang, 18th Street quickly became mainly a Central American gang as the 18th Street started to recruit more members of other ethnic groups.[7][8][9][10] When Central American gang members were arrested in the United States, they were then deported back to Central America where the gang rose out-of-control on different levels of violence not just in El Salvador, but in Honduras and Guatemala as well. The gang became one of the most violent gangs in Central America.[11][12][13][14] The 18th Street later became a bitter rival of MS-13 as both gangs wanted the top spot in Central America. Most Members of 18th Street are now Central American. Members of Central America are mainly Salvadoran, Guatemalan, and Honduran, but the gang does have gang members of other parts of Central America. 18th Street influences have recently been spotted in Belize as well.[15][16][17][18]

Location

The majority of 18th Street cliques operate throughout Southern California, but are active in other states and internationally as well. Los Angeles members began migrating to other areas outside America and started to establish their own cliques. 18th Street cliques have been identified in 120 cities in 37 states and the District of Columbia in the United States, as well internationally in Spain, Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Lebanon, Peru, Philippines, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador.[19]

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