Mara Salvatruchas Trece (MS-13)

Overlap: Drug Gangs and Geo-Politics

Mara Salvatruchas Trece (MS-13) is a violent drug network that has filtrated from Centroamerica up thru Mexico and into the United States. MS-13 comprises blowback from the CIA-counterinsurgency terror network — organized during the Eighties to repress the revolutionary movements — operating in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. They have been blamed for countless acts of horrific violence, including indiscriminate attacks against other colonized peoples, particularly Africans.

In order to understand their linkages to international narco-terrorism, you have to pose MS-13 against the backdrop of the CIA Guns-for-Drugs operations, sanctioned and financed by the National Security Administration. Also known as CIA Iran-Contra during the Reagan Administration, Guns-for-Drugs was overseen by Oliver North, and run out of the White House.

The Israelis managed a big cut in the action, traced to the vast numbers of Uzis and foreign manufacture weapons on the streets here and elsewhere. Associated with the volatile cocaine traffic that flooded the US starting in the 80s, the bullet-riddled body of an Israeli Mossad officer turned up in car trunk when US armed forces invaded Panama in 1989.

Under the Carter Administration, the CIA was assigned to arm and train Al Qaida in Afghanistan to face down the Soviet occupation. CIA/Al Qaida encouraged opium cultivation to finance the pre-Taliban mujahiddeen, which formed the bulk of the anti-Soviet fighters. As then-NSA advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski directed this strategy, subsequently taken over by North, during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.

Reagan aimed to halt the rising leftist trend in “America’s backyard” thru the most violent counterinsurgency methods in recent history. Centroamerica’s main operatives behind US policy included Nicaragua’s Contras, Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega (whom the US later deposed and imprisoned), the Guatemalan government. Right-wing death squads operated with impunity in El Salvador during that era, massacring 100,000 students, workers, peasants and even nuns. These vicious activities had political backing from Congress, which led a toothless investigation of CIA Iran-Contra, for the illegal mining of Nicaragua’s harbor. Columbia, Bolivia and Peru became enmeshed in violent struggles between communist rebels versus reactionary governments. Imperialist drug kingpins press ganged peasants into intense coca production, which eventually hit our streets as cocaine.

A sidebar, Nicaragua and El Salvador at that time sustained the world’s second highest amputation rates, following closely behind Angola and Mozambique. In all four cases, militarized gangs — funded and trained by Imperialist forces — used machetes and other edged implements to terrorize, dismember, maim and murder people by the thousands.

Undeniably connected with this time, drug money laundered thru Cayman Islands or US savings and loans institutions accounted for billions of dollars in illegal proceeds, which ultimately contributed to the collapse of 747 S&Ls like Whitewater, BCCI, and others. This is only one of many leading edges of the reactionary right-wing agenda in American politics.

MS-13 arose as the heir apparent of the Centroamericano pro-imperialist death squads and drug gangs. Parasitic excrescences backing this web of intrigue include reactionary financiers, presently looting the worldwide working class, and imposing a regime of terror across the globe.

We can connect the dots to make comparisons with CIA-trained Al Qaida, spreading its bloodsucking influence thru out Asia. Alongside Al Qaida, include the US-backed military regimes of Paul Kagame and Yoweri Musaveni presently aiming to annex DRC, the interhamwe in DRC, the Saudi-funded janjaweed in Darfur, and other similar pro-imperialist and sub-imperialist terror formations. The common thread running thru these factions involves profit-making via militarized violence, counterinsurgency, and neo-colonialism. Illuminating MS-13 makes one more case for the revolutionary transformation of Imperialism’s genocidal class system.

MS-13, like all drug gangs, poses a serious threat to the stability of working class communities. Their indiscriminate targeting of black people must meet stiff resistance. Yet it makes little sense to stampede peoples minds with scattershot information that provides primitive context, liberal-reactionary content, and race nationalist underpinnings. Our community must become organized not just for simple self-defense. That cannot survive as a successful strategy within any scenario. We have to organize by building scientific socialism, that is, revolutionary communities of resistance, a maroon society.

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