(Trinidad Express) Members of one of the most dangerous gangs in the world, MS-13, are currently in this country working on construction sites, says Opposition MP Dr Amery Browne.
He raised the issue at the Parliament sitting yesterday during his contribution to a private motion by Laventille East/Morvant MP Donna Cox concerning the dismantling of national security systems.
Browne advised the Government to pay close attention to hiring practices in the private sector where, he said, an “unusual pattern” was developing.
“There are persons who are finding employment in Trinidad and Tobago, illegally, and some of them really have no place in such a society. I am informed that the national security council was advised of members of a particular group called MS-13, one of the most dangerous gangs on planet Earth. … Some of those members with characteristic markings were seen at construction sites in Trinidad and Tobago,” said Browne.
“This is not something to be proud of. I am not saying that they were political imports at all because I don’t think they were, but the lack of attention to all of our various systems of security, these are things that can happen but need to be dealt with urgently,” Browne added.
He said these MS-13 gang members are part of a Latin American organisation that was affecting the United States.
Browne said some of these gang members, when in deep trouble, are sent to other countries until the “heat” decreases.
“When the heat gets high in some of the countries of operation they farm them out to other countries, sometimes on construction sites, and they come and they work, and when things cool down they go back but should they be offended or should they see opportunities in the countries in which they are sent to cool down, that is something that Trinidad and Tobago does not ever want to confront,” said Browne.
Browne criticised the People’s Partnership government for dismantling security services as he referred to the Special Anti-crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (SAUTT), the homicide investigations task force and the repeat offenders programme.
He further knocked the Government on the cancellation of the Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs), which he said, were designed to disrupt the inflow of cocaine and guns.
The Express conducted an online search on MS-13 on the Federal Bureau of Investigations Website (FBI), which yielded graphic descriptions of the gang’s operations: “They’ve severed the fingers of their rivals with machetes … brutally murdered suspected informants, including a 17-year-old pregnant federal witness … attacked and threatened law enforcement officers … committed a string of rapes, assaults, break-ins, auto thefts, extortions, and frauds across the US … gotten involved in everything from drug and firearms trafficking to prostitution and money laundering … and are sowing violence and discord not just here in the US but around the world.”
The FBI website stated MS-13 or “Mara Salvatrucha” was a “fast-growing, violent, and increasingly mobile street gang that is terrorising communities in 33 states and the District of Columbia”
In December 2004, the FBI launched a multi-agency MS-13 National Gang Task force which was geared to focus specifically on dismantling MS-13.