Alex Sanchez’s recruitment into the notorious Los Angeles-based gang MS-13 can be largely attributed to three things: isolation, music, and domestic violence. Formed by children of refugees fleeing the US-funded violence in El Salvador, MS-13 makes up less than 1 percent of gang members in the US, which have approximately grown to 1.4 million.
In this episode, we dive into the dark world of gangs to better understand how politics and prison systems further fuel their violence. What are the social conditions that enable gangs to proliferate? Why are young people forced into gangs? How do these groups propel to notoriety and lives of crime? What can we actually do to address its root causes? On the podcast, we share Alex’s compelling journey — from an active member of MS-13 to an internationally recognized peacemaker who co-founded Homies Unidos, an organization that aims to end violence by working with at-risk youth, former gang members, and their families.
Featuring policy and advocacy insights from experts: Dr. Charles Katz, Professor and Director at the Center for Violence Prevention and Community Safety at the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Arizona State University; and William Wheeler, Journalist and Author of "State of War: MS-13 and El Salvador's World of Violence."
Finding Humanity is a production of Humanity Lab Foundation and Hueman Group Media.
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