The New York Times > Magazine > Hillbangers

The New York Times > Magazine > Hillbangers: “At first, Carter, like the rest of the community, considered the incident to be an aberration. Paz’s murder was tragic and puzzling — what was a dead member of MS-13 doing in the Shenandoah Valley? — but not something that threatened the well-being of people in Edinburg, Woodstock or Strasburg. A few months later, though, after Carter was elected sheriff, an informant casually mentioned to one of his investigators that it was possible to buy drugs from gang members in the county. The way Carter tells it, the passing reference floored his investigator: ”’You can?’ my guy asks. ‘We have gang members living here?”’

They did indeed. Before long you could spot gang-related graffiti on local barns and buildings — and at the foot of the covered bridge in Meem’s Bottom, near where Paz’s body had been found.

Carter’s job, and the life of his small rural community, had suddenly become a lot more complicated. ”

Gangs are everywhere. Now the problems of the city have become problems of the “country” and it seems to me that a new tactic must be taken to end this problem. It is an issue that impacts all of us in one way or another. The Mexican Mafia is real and it works insider the prisons and outside them as well. And that is just one “version” others exist too.

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