During a conference in Honduras in August 2013, judicial representatives from the countries which comprise the Central American Integration System (SICA) agreed to develop a uniform policy to fight gangs and other organized crime groups in Central America. “This initiative is about working together, and there is talk about unifying the types of criminal offenses, since there are nine, in order to tackle them in the same manner within SICA member countries,” said Erick Laguna, a Nicaraguan judge who presides over organized crime cases. In July and May 2013, security forces from Guatemala and El Salvador, in a joint operation, captured 200 suspected gang members. During the operations, security forces captured a high-ranking leader of MS-13, Angel Roberto Interiano Calderon, a Salvadoran who is known as “El Capo.” Security forces also captured two alleged Barrio 18 leaders, Nery Leonel Reyes Carranza, of Guatemala, and Adonias Joel Martinez, of Honduras. Martinez is known as “Cara Quemada.” ‘The Devil’ Unified response Gangs are still predominantly male, but the number of women and teenage female gang members is rising. The 2007 study “Maras and Gangs, Community and Policy in Central America,” found that 40 percent of Central American gang members were women or teenage girls. The study was conducted by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The number of female gang members varies from country to country, according to studies. For example, in Honduras, an estimated 20 percent of gang members are women or teenage girls, InsightCrime.org reported. Almost all of the gang members in that country belong to MS-13 and Barrio 18. Some 22,000 gang members operate in Guatemala, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). At least 15 percent of the gang members in Guatemala are women or teenage girls, according to the Guatemala National Civil Police (PNC). The number of women prisoners in that country has doubled in eight years. Most of the female inmates were incarcerated for theft or homicide. Women gangsters must be tough Female gang members increasing Lucía Pérez, a high-ranking member of MS-13, told her story to La Vanguardia in September 2013. Pérez said she was recruited into MS-13 at the age of 12. She was given the nickname “The Devil.” “I was tough and brave. I earned a spot within the ranks,” Pérez said. Her back was covered in tattoos, which represented the “achievements” of the gang, she said. At the age of 20, Pérez has two children – and is serving a 35-year prison sentence for murder, robbery, and kidnapping. The Devil’s case is far from unusual: As is the case with most gang members and organized crime operatives, most women gang members end up incarcerated or die violently. Women and teenage girls who want to join a gang must show courage and loyalty, endure initiation beatings, and complete “missions” to pass their “check-up” before they are admitted to the gang, according to the report “Violent Women and Violence against Women”, by Interpeace, an independent international organization based in Switzerland. To join MS-13 or Barrio 18, women and teenager girls must endure beatings that last 13 seconds and 18 seconds, respectively. Or they can join by having sex with several gang members, according to the report. Women who choose to be beaten are given greater respect within the gang. MS-13 and Barrio 18 require lifelong loyalty from their members. Leaving the gang is considered a betrayal, which the gangs punish with death. Many women decide to try to leave a gang when they become pregnant or after they have given birth, according to the report. “It is very difficult for women to leave the structure of the criminal organization because they are dominated by the gang, dominated by their partner, and in the condition of becoming a mother, which (in some cases) leads them to remain within the gang,” Santos said. With increasing frequency, Mara Salvatrucha, Barrio 18, and other violent street gangs in Central America are women and teenage girls to not only transport drugs and collect extortion payments, but to work as enforcers. Gangs in El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica are using more women and teenage girls than ever before, according to Jorge Santos, coordinator of the International Center for Human Rights Research (CIIDH) in Guatemala. Street gangs in those and other Latin American countries are using women and girls to commit more violent crimes than ever, Santos said. However, Mara Salvatrucha (which is also known as MS-13) and Barrio 18 appear to be gangs which use women and girls with the greatest frequency, Santos said. “Children, adolescents, and women are being trained by MS-13 and Barrio 18 gangs in handling weapons so they can be used as hitmen and in criminal intelligence work,” Santos explained. Even very young female gang members are participating in violence. For example, in July 2013, Guatemalan security forces arrested a 13-year-old girl on suspicion of participating in the killing of a man near Guatemala City. She was arrested with two other minors, both of whom are male. Security forces took two handguns from the suspects. By Dialogo October 31, 2013 This article is very interesting, I had never read it before. Really sad that young women feel they have to join a gang for protection or for a sense of family. There are other options out there, Christ is all the family anyone truly needs. He will protect you, love you, and keep you. Trust in the name of Jesus, He is maker and died so you can live in Him. God bless.
Elliott only ran the ball 12 times against Buffalo on Thanksgiving, and Garrett has been criticized for that decision. However, it’s unlikely he changes tack against Chicago’s run defense. The Bears’ front seven has done a great job of stopping running backs in their tracks, so the under is a good bet for Elliott.David Montgomery over/under 58.5 rushing yardsChicago’s run game has been ineffective for most of the season. The Bears have tried to fix it with a revamped offensive line and new running backs, but this team continues to be one of the worst in the league when it comes to moving the chains on the ground. Chicago is averaging a scant 3.4 YPC, and Montgomery is the Bears’ leading rusher with 594 yards on the season.Montgomery has only carried the ball 20 times or more in a game twice this season, so workload shouldn’t be a big factor when considering this prop. His best games have all come against relative weak front sevens, and Dallas is much stronger up front than most of the teams he has succeeded against this season. That makes the under a relatively decent bet for Montgomery too. Here are some other bets to look at when these teams face off tonight.MORE: Get the latest NFL odds & betting trends from Sports InsiderDak Prescott over/under 277.5 passing yardsPrescott has had a sensational season. He is leading the league in passing yards, proving that he was right to bet on himself in a contract year. Dallas’ signal caller is averaging 334.2 YPG, but he has only thrown for 278 yards or more in a game six times in 12 games.Prescott will be facing a Bears defense that is the fourth best in the league in passing yards per attempt, holding opponents to 6.1 YPA. However, the Bears are unlikely to have starting cornerback Prince Amukamara available due to a hamstring injury, thrusting Buster Skrine into a starting role. Chicago’s stolid run defense is allowing just 3.4 YPC, so it’s unlikely that Ezekiel Elliott goes off against the Bears. That will likely make Jason Garrett turn to Prescott once more, giving Prescott ample opportunity to go over his total. Mitchell Trubisky over/under 234.5 passing yardsOn paper, Trubisky hasn’t appeared to have a bad season. However, if you take out his performances against Detroit and Washington his numbers are atrocious. Without those three games to boost his stats, he has thrown four touchdowns and five interceptions in eight games. Trubisky posted three straight games with less than 200 passing yards prior to the last two weeks, but he is facing a much tougher secondary than either the Giants or the Lions. Dallas is allowing 6.3 YPA, and the Cowboys have a very good cornerback in Byron Jones. Jones is likely to match up with Allen Robinson, taking away Trubisky’s favorite target in the passing game. With Taylor Gabriel out and Anthony Miller struggling in his second season, that makes the under a good bet on Thursday night.WEEK 14 NFL PICKS: Straight up | Against the spreadEzekiel Elliott over/under 85.5 rushing yardsGarrett moving away from featuring Elliott in the running game has been a surprising development. Dallas’ head coach is not running Elliott as often as he has in previous seasons, and the star running back has not run for more than 100 yards since he eclipsed the century mark against the Giants a month ago. The Cowboys are looking to strengthen their grip on the NFC East, and they will be heading to the Windy City to take on the Bears on “Thursday Night Football.”Dallas is a three-point favorite in this game and the total is 43.5, but there are more betting options than just the spread and total for this game.