Defining Mara Salvatrucha’s Texas network
Arredondo, Juan M.
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This thesis examines the criminal networks used to penetrate Texas by the Mara Salvatrucha (MS 13) street gang. MS 13’s internal reach is analyzed by examining the existing and potential horizontal integration of the known cliques (gang cells). Additionally, the organizations’ existing reach and potential transnational reach are analyzed by examining the existing and potential vertical integration between its domestic and Central American components. The identification of MS 13’s criminal networks is completed by using a first-generation manual approach lens. This approach involves examining data to uncover associations between criminals, resulting in the creation of an association matrix that links MS 13 with affiliates. The research shows that MS 13 is a significant threat to public security in the state of Texas for two main reasons: proximity to cartels and demographics of the state. Research shows that criminal networks are already at work and that MS 13 should be taken seriously in Texas. The risk to Texas stems from the similarities, in terms of demographics and proximity to transnational cartels, to Los Angeles, California, where MS 13 originated.
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