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A member of the Mara Salvatrucha gang, his face and body covered with tattooes, in the special prison of Quezaltepeque. The Mara Salvatrucha gang, MS13, originated in the 1970s within the Salvadorian immigrant community of Los Angeles. With a systematic policy of deportations engaged by the United States, the gang problem has been exported back to Central America causing an explosive rise in vicious gang-related crime. Today, cities like San Salvador experience some of the highest rates of murder in the world.