Mara 18 is a primarily-Latino criminal organization, with members largely from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. La Mara 18 was created in Los Angeles during a mass exodus of Salvadorans who fled the conditions following the El Salvadoran Civil War. Many of the Salvadorans who traveled to California were the target of existing gangs who preyed on immigrants and where young men seeking refuge from Central America's civil wars formed violent gangs on the streets of Los Angeles and its suburbs in the 1980s. Gang members later deported from the U.S. re-established their violent organizations in their native countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
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Groups and individuals included in TRAC's database range from actual perpetrators of social or political violence to more passive groups that support or condone (perhaps unwittingly) such violence. The spectrum of violence represented by these groups is vast, from Jihadists who bomb train stations to financial institutions that transfer funds. Some groups that originally engaged in violence but have since become legitimate political parties are included to provide historical perspective. TRAC is in no way attempting to determine whether groups or individuals are terrorists -- only to convey reported information about their activities and official State status. While TRAC attempts to ensure the accuracy of its TRAC database, the entries in the database are from numerous different sources. Hence, TRAC cannot and does not warrant the accuracy of the entries in its database. The editors of TRAC may modify these entries at any time and welcome comments and suggested corrections or additions. Please write [email protected] or hit the "SUBMIT ADDITIONS" button on the page of the group profile about which you wish to comment.