You've spotted the graffiti. You've seen their tattoos. And you've read the shocking headlines documenting their brutality. But what is driving the rapid spread of the ultra-violent gang MS-13, which has infected big cities and small towns across the country? National Geographic Explorer's Lisa Ling takes you deep inside a merciless world hidden in plain view - the shadowy culture of MS-13. It is an organization that recruits the most desperate, including children, and twists them into hardened criminals capable of the most heinous crimes.
Ling travels from Los Angeles to El Salvador to explore the innermost workings of the most feared gang on the planet. A powerful offshoot of the once insignificant Mara Salvatrucha gang, MS-13 has rapidly evolved into a formidable criminal empire. In the 1980s a law was passed that called for non-U.S. citizens to be deported to their country of origin after serving life sentences on stateside shores. As a result of this law, countries such as El Salvador that had never experienced serious gang problems were forced to watch helplessly as those who learned their violent trade in the U.S. returned home to spread their violent agenda.
World's Most Dangerous Gang reveals how MS-13 works from those who know it best, detailing its extreme culture and rituals through revealing interviews with active members, those struggling to break free and investigators dedicated to stemming the increasing tide of violence that now spills beyond US borders.