Author: HTS Staff

The Connection between the Mara Salvatrucha and Human Trafficking

The Mara Salvatrucha, better known by their acronym MS-13, is one of the largest and most violent transnational criminal organizations in the world. Their motto is “Kill, Rape, Control.” Since the 1980s, MS-13 members have typically engaged in a wide range of violent and criminal activity including, drug distribution, murder, rape, prostitution, robbery, home invasions, immigration offenses, kidnapping, carjacking/auto thefts, and vandalism. More recently there has been a rise in MS-13 engaging in human trafficking.

Surprising Developments in the 2017 Trafficking in Person’s Report

There were some surprising changes in this year’s Department of State Trafficking in Person Report (TIP). China was downgraded to Tier 3—the worst designation a country can receive. Despite backlash from the human rights community, Malaysia was upgraded from the Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 2. Finally, Burma and Iraq were removed from the Child Solider Prevention Act which lists governments guilty of recruiting and using child soldiers.