The making of America's most notorious gang
339pp. Hanover Square Press.
When refugees from the Salvadoran war streamed to Los Angeles in the 1980s, some bumped up against long-established street gangs. Forming their own gangs, both to defend themselves and muscle into the retail drug trade, the Salvadorans contended with the same marginalization and police brutality as the Los Angeleans, but they faced an obstacle all of their own: deportation. When war ended in 1992, US administrations expelled jailed gangsters back to El Salvador where, sporting exotic tattoos, they reconstituted the two main groups, the MS-13 and the 18th Street gang, bringing extortion and homicide to the war-weary nation. Many later made their...