A News4 team traveled almost 2,000 miles to El Salvador this summer with Sgt. Claudio Saa of the Herndon Police Department to explore the gang MS-13's ties to Virginia. See part 1 of Erika Gonzalez's
special report here.
The National Civil Police of El Salvador have a "Anti-Pandilla" or anti-gang unit, made up of elite officers dedicated to dismantling gangs like MS-13. A News4 team traveled almost 2,000 miles to El Salvador this summer with Sgt. Claudio Saa of the Herndon Police Department to explore the gang MS-13's ties to Virginia. See part 1 of Erika Gonzalez's
special report here.
A News4 crew -- reporter Erika Gonzalez, photographer Dave Carter and producer Lauren Dunn -- get a rare look inside the Lourdes "bartolina."
This little boy lives in the gang-ridden Molino neighborhood of San Salvador.
MS-13 graffitti plasters the walls of many neighborhoods in El Salvador, including here in Molino.
NBC4 photographer David Carter with members of the Salvadoran Police’s anti-gang unit in Molino.
These MS-13 members are being held in one of El Salvador’s many "bartolinas," holding cells for those arrested for crimes including murder and extortion.
MS-13 members holding up their gang signs at this "bartolina" in Lourdes, located right outside of San Salvador.
Many MS-13 members cover their bodies with tattoos signifying their allegiance.
The holding cells are often overcrowded. These men told us they have to take turns sleeping because there isn't enough room for everyone to lie down at the same time.
MS-13 members being held at this "bartolina" in Lourdes did not hesitate to talk to us. They wanted to tell us about their treatment in the holding cell, which they felt was unfair.
An inmate at the Lourdes "bartolina." His tattoo signifies that he is a member of MS-13.
MS-13 members need to be kept in separate cells from their rival gang, 18th Street. See part 1 of Erika Gonzalez's
special report on MS-13 here.
El Salvador’s capital city, San Salvador, is situated between two volcanoes. The last time one of them erupted more than 100 years ago.
The mouth of the Salvador volcano is now home to a national park, where visitors can hike and spend time.