Contract killings, kidnapping, drug trafficking, prostitution and human smuggling are only a few of MS-13’s criminal activities. Originally most of the members were Salvadorans whose extraordinary violence and viciousness caught the attention of the Sinaloa Cartel who began to use them as soldiers in their ongoing war against their drug dealing competitors, primarily Los Zetas.
Friday, the FBI announced an international roundup of hundreds of MS-13 gang members and gang affiliates. A total of 263 members of MS-13 were arrested. While this seems like a substantial number, there are a reported 30,000 to 50,000 members in North America so it’s unlikely the arrests will put much of a dent in the gang’s illegal operations.
Whether it’s MS-13 or the major drug cartels, the role these organizations play–both direct and indirect–in the sexual abuse of children is rarely mentioned. All of these organizations are actively engaged in trafficking illegal aliens into the United States. They use some as “mules” to bring drugs into the country. But most of the illegals pay these groups to arrange their travel, very often on “credit.”
Some of the women, even some of the girls, are put to work as prostitutes to pay off their debt. Often the fees are paid by relatives. Sometimes employers looking for cheap labor foot the bill and put the illegals to work as little more than indentured servants. All of these illegals are vulnerable to continuing exploitation.
Children of these illegals, however they got here, are especially vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
One of the priests that I investigated sexually abused a boy for several years, maintaining his compliance by threatening to have his mother, who was an illegal alien, deported. Two other priests were extorting sexual favors from illegals using similar threats. One of them was reportedly supplying his victims with social security numbers and helping them to get work. While these are the only cases I personally investigated, many similar cases are documented in the public record. We never learn about most of the victims.
One thing is certain. Unless we can stop the flow of illegals into this country, their children will continue to be among the most vulnerable to child sexual predators.
I’m glad that law enforcement is going after MS-13, but my first target would be to go after the employers.