Size of Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13)

Federal authorities in the United States estimates that street gang Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13, has at least 30,000 members in its organization. The members are spread out across the Americas region, with members known to be in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.

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Human smuggling fee from Central America to the United States

Drug cartel Los Zetas was charging migrants between $7,000 to $10,000 per person to be smuggled from Central American countries through Mexico and into the United States. The drug trafficking cartel diversified into human smuggling and had recruiters in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to transport people along supply routes towards the U.S. border.

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Drug Violence in Central America

In El Salvador, the homicide rate increased by 37 percent in 2009 as there were 71 murders for every 100,000 residents. Other Central America countries had high homicide rates as well, with Honduras having 67 per 100,000, and Guatemala having 52 murders per 100,000 residents. By comparison, Mexico has 14 murders per 100,000 and the United States has 5.4 per 100,000 residents.

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