U.S. efforts to work with other countries to combat international gang violence are already showing results.
Prosecutors in El Salvador have charged nearly 700 gang members, including many members of a transnational criminal network called MS-13, the U.S. Justice Department announced.
“It is bold and decisive action like this that will ensure that good prevails over evil,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said during a July 28 visit to El Salvador. “It is only through this multilateral coordination that we will be able to effectively thwart the scourge of transnational criminal organizations.”
Sessions had discussed the issue of gang violence with the attorneys general of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras during a March meeting in Washington.
The U.S. has deployed various initiatives to help Central American governments fight gangs like MS-13. They include anti-gang education programs for adolescents and support for community policing reforms.
President Trump vowed July 28 that the U.S. will “dismantle, decimate and eradicate” violent street gangs, particularly MS-13.
“We’re going to destroy the vile, criminal cartel MS-13 and many other gangs,” the president told a group of law enforcement officials in New York.
The president delivered his remarks in Brentwood, New York, located about 64 kilometers from New York City on Long Island. He said MS-13 has murdered 17 people on Long Island since January 2016.
“We cannot accept this violence one day more, can’t do it, and we’re not going to do it,” the president said.