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In the late 1970s a civil war occurred in El Salvador. The fight raged on between the Military of El Salvador and the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, this was an organization of multiple left-wing groups. The war began in October of 1979 and continued through January of 1992. 

Many would flee the country to avoid the terror in the country. Mostly escaping to the United States. By this time in the U.S., Mexicans and Mexican-American descendants had begun forming gangs in order to stand up for poor treatment and contempt from other races as well as means to make money and strong arm specific territories. 

In the very late 70s, young Salvadoreans would create a gang named MS13. The gang consisted of all under age teens that listened to heavy metal and would often call themselves stoners. In these early days, some of the gang members would describe ritualistic initiations, such as visiting a cemetery, drinking each other’s blood and cutting cats open as a sacrifice.. 

By the early 80s, more Salvadoreans began arriving and found themselves battling the latino gangs and creating their own. This would lead to the creation of a very violent MS-13. The gang originally formed in the neighborhoods of Los Angeles that already had a heavy presence of gangs.  Members came from as far as Honduras, and Guatemala to escape the war in El Salvador. The name Mara Salvatrucha meant Mara for gang and Salva for Salvador, and trucha translates very loosely to street smarts. The number 13 is the position of the letter M in the Spanish alphabet. 

As with any gang, MS13, is known for violence when recruiting young teens. Mostly teens that are living on the streets or at risk and they would be beaten upon joining. If you survived, you are part of the gang. In other variations, the new member would have to carry out a murder or other horrible crime to be a member. All members are branded with tattoos representing the gang or devil horns. MS13 holds their fingers up in what appears to be devil horns, this is their sign to each other.  Exiting the gang is almost always not an option. 

It is said that within the gang, they will punish certain behavior within the gang, such as pulling a gun out, being drunk in public as well as missing meetings. These types of offenses within the gang are punished by being beaten for 13 seconds by other members of the gang. For more serious offenses within the gang, they will kill you. 

MS-13 became intertwined with the Mexican Mafia and at one point became a vassal of the Mafia. Vassal meaning, under the protection of. During this period of time, MS-13s interaction with Mexican cartels increased which also led to their belief in Santa Muerte. 

 Today, there are over 70,000 members of MS-13, scattered across the U.S. This includes, males and females. The gang is said to have become extremely active in the occult these days.

They set themselves apart with their choice of weapons as well. Rather than guns, they use machetes. MS-13 rarely has former members, but one former member had chatted with Isabel Vincent, a writer at the New York Post. He stated the gang used Ouija boards to gain information from spirits on who to target next as well as performing demonic rituals to gain above human strength as well as to feel no pain. It is said that they even summon Satan himself for extreme power. 

An example of their occult beliefs mixing into their gang activity would be when two of the members, Miguel Alvarez-Flores, 22 and Diego Hernandez-Rivera, 18, murdered a 15 year old girl during a Satanic ritual. These two were also indicted on charges of kidnap, rape and torture of two other teen girls.

A 14 year old girl survived and told investigators that she had been held captive alongside Genesis Cornejo. The surviving girl stated during her time being held in the apartment she was sexually assaulted by members of the gang, forced to drink alcohol and do drugs. After four days of this torture, she was moved to another apartment.  A man named Flaco and six other MS-13 members were present. The rape and torture continued. 

During this time she encountered the head of the gang, Diabilco. He had held her down and tattooed her knee to her foot. The image… was the Grim Reaper. Later it was found that Diabilco was Miguel Alvarez-Flores. 

At one point during this ordeal another girl was brought to the apartment, her name was Genesis Cornejo. While being held captive, Genesis had an outburst at the shrine to satan that the members had in the apartment. This offended the members and Diabilco lit a cigarette as an offering to the satanic statue, though he told the other members this wasn’t enough… he claimed the beast wanted a soul. 

The 14 year old survivor stated Genesis disappeared after this. 

Genesis had been missing for a month when her body was found in the middle of the road Sharpcrest Street in Houston, Texas, on February 16th, 2017. It was obvious she had been shot twice at very close range. 

Prior to the murder of Genesis Cornejo, Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas were both found murdered near a school in Brentwood, New York. Both young women were enrolled at Brentwood High School which has been known to have many MS-13 members enrolled as well. 

Prior to death..Kayla Cuevas had a history of issues with members of MS-13. In 2015, Kayla was assaulted by a known MS-13 member during summer school. She was threatened with a knife. 

By 2016, Kayla and some of her friends had been involved in an altercation with some of the MS13 members. A social media feud ensued as well and the rumor was… that Kayla was now marked for death. 

On September 13th, 2016, MS-13, members drove the streets of Brentwood, seeking rival gangs to kill when they spotted Kayla and Nisa. Selvin Chavez and Enrique Portillo were in the vehicle with two other members who were minors, they called the leader of this faction of MS-13. The leader instructed them to kill the two girls. 

On Stahley Street where the two friends were walking, the car driven by Selvin Chavez pulled alongside the two. The members all exited the car to attack the girls. They were hit with baseball bats and a machete. Nisa’s body was found on Stahley Street near the gate of Loretta Park Elementary School.  A passerby in a vehicle saw the body and called 911. The next day, Kayla’s body was found in a backyard about 50 yards away.

The story ends here for these young women. Their lives were taken too soon due to gang violence and heavy beliefs in Satan. Though Kayla’s mother, Evelyn Rodriguez became heavily involved in anti-gang activity after the death of her daughter. 

The men involved in the murders of all the young women were arrested. 

Evelyn had also set up a memorial for her daughter where she was murdered, but a local resident who was selling her mothers home, felt the memorial was bringing property values down, so she tore down the shrine. When Evelyn confronted her… Annmarie Drago, ran her over. 

Evelyn Rodriguez was killed two years to the day of her daughters murder and in the same exact place. 

Some rumors will state that this is a curse placed on the family by the Satan worshipping gang members. Revenge if you will… 

With so many members and factions across the country, it’s hard to keep control of the violence and crimes or even sacrifices this gang makes. 

In March of 2017, in Wheaton Regional Park in Maryland, an 18 year old man was lured into the park, by members of MS13, he was choked and slashed with machetes and knives. His head was severed from his body and his heart was ripped out of his chest. His body was then dismembered and thrown into a shallow grave.

Sacrifices of human brains or hearts… is protection from police and keeps the gang hidden. At least this is what they believe. 

Do you believe this gang is protected by their sacrifices to Satan? Or are they simply just another violent street gang? We really will never know and will leave this to the realms of the unexplained. 

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