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Combating Gangs: Federal Agencies Have Implemented a Central American Gang Strategy, but Could Strengthen Oversight and Measurement of Efforts
Eileen R. Larence
Thousands of gang members in the U.S. belong to gangs such as MS-13 and 18th Street that are also active in Central American countries. Federal entities with responsibilities for addressing Central American gangs include the Nat. Security Council (NSC); Depts. of Homeland Security (DHS), Justice (DOJ), and State; and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). This report reviewed federal efforts to combat transnational gangs. It addresses (1) the extent to which the federal government has developed a strategy to combat these gangs, and (2) how federal agencies have implemented the strategy and other programs to combat these gangs, coordinated their actions, and assessed their results. The report examined federal agencies’ antigang plans, resources, and measures; interviewed federal, state, and local officials in seven localities representing varying population sizes and geographic regions; and interviewed U.S. and foreign officials in El Salvador and Guatemala where U.S. agencies have implemented antigang programs. The results of these interviews are not generalizable. Includes recommendations. Figures.
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