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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  1. Jack's Shack August 16, 2004 at 12:53 am

    The warfare is filled with “collateral damage” and in this case it is truly unacceptable.

  2. Anonymous August 15, 2004 at 8:16 pm

    As long as the gangs kill eachother they take work out of the hands of the police. Always a good thing.


  3. Jack's Shack August 15, 2004 at 4:09 pm

    Los Angeles most definitely has its share of gangs. It is a real problem. I don’t have the inclination at the moment to spend too much time on why they exist, they do.

    But I would like to see a stronger effort made to combat them. Part of the reason they thrive is they manage to terrorize those who would testify against them.

    It allows them to continue behaving in a manner that is unacceptable to society.

    And as the story demonstrates, this is no longer an urban problem.

  4. Anonymous August 15, 2004 at 12:20 pm

    Hey jack, doesn’t LA, where you’re from. have it’s share of gangs? The other day i saw this half movie half documentary depicting gangbangers in south-central. Talking tough and putting caps in eachother’s asses. One guy who was shot was critically wounded. When the paramedic found him in a puddle of his own blood the paramedics where certain he was going to die. Miraculously the doctors in the hospital revived him. Which i also found a miracle because beside the blood there were also lumps of flesh scattered everywhere.

    What can you do about gangs? first you must find out why there are gangs in the first place. Part out of prestige, part out of poverty and part out of easy money.

    While i think each of these issues deserve to be addressed, one must also conclude that it’s way to easy for the gangbangers to supply themselves with fire arms. Where not just talking handguns here, but sometimes complete arsenals of M4 machine-guns and SPAS 12 shotguns. Heavy police and military stuff you can only wonder where they got it from.

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