Correspondent Lisa Ling documented the experience of filming this special from El Salvador to Los Angeles. Below are accounts of some of her chilling experiences, including finding out that she and her crew had been targeted for kidnapping and touring MS-13 controlled territory in Los Angeles with an active MS-13 member.
Growing up in Los Angeles, it’s hard not to notice the graffiti that covers the sides of buildings, walls, fences and trucks in many parts of the city. It looks like meaningless scribble, but it’s used to mark territory. Though it is home to Hollywood and the entertainment industry, large swaths of the city are also claimed by violent street gangs. If you’re a gangster and walk into territory claimed by a rival gang, you could be shot to death without question.