WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas

Transnational Study on Youth Gangs

In recent years, Central American youth gangs known as "maras" have caught the attention of the media, national governments, academic researchers and civil society. Reports from some national security experts and in the media have painted youth gangs as an increasingly serious threat to public order in North and Central America. However, current research shows that while a growing and complex problem, the transnational and criminal nature of youth gangs is quite limited.

The Report is divided into sections by country.

Executive Summary (English)

Washington, DC (In English)

Nicaragua (En Español)

Mexico (En Español)

Honduras (En Español)

Guatemala (En Español)

El Salvador (En Español)