Vic Blue is a photojournalist based out of Stockton, California but his work extends to El Salvador where he documented the lives of imprisoned gang members from the Mara Salvatrucha. For those who don’t know the whole story I will telegraph it: the U.S. funded a bloody counter-insurgency war in that country during the 1980’s, forcing thousands of refugees to seek refuge in the United States. Their children grew up in poor neighborhoods in Los Angeles and other cities and learned U.S. street gang culture and organizatio, and so when they were “repatriated” back to El Salvador they brought the gangster life with them. It’s one of the most bizarre cases of “blowback” I’ve ever heard of and further fallout from the U.S.’s awful 1980’s Central American foreign policy.
And for those readers who don’t speak Spanish, what the young man pictured above has decided to write on his chest for the rest of his life is “I don’t trust anyone much less BITCHES!” Below are police preparing to raid a gang safe house, masked so that they themselves won’t be killed later in retaliation.