Should Street Gangs be Considered Terrorist Organizations? Terror, violence, and death are the common denominators in our society nowadays. Why? Because of street gang fights. Innocent people have been killed as a result of street gangs. These groups of criminals use violence against societies and band together for mutual protection and profit. Street gangs are gangsters controlling, attacking, and killing people on the streets, as a result, they are one of the biggest social problems around the world.
According to the definition of terrorism in Dictionary. com, it is the unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies. Street gangs and terrorism have the same negative characteristics. They both murder families; they both bring violence to the community making citizens live in fear.
Because street gangs destroy family union, communities, and a country’s quality of life, they should be classified and considered terrorist organizations. Perhaps the very first reason to consider street gangs as terrorist organizations will be the physical, mental, and moral harm they cause to the family union when they terminate a member. Street gangs kill people, most of the time, innocent people. Street gangs have no mercy. They can shoot their guns against the elderly and young people. They don’t believe in age, color, religion, or sex.
The New York Times published an article describing a New York gang member, Edgar Morales, who was convicted of terrorism under New York’s post 9-11 terrorism law (This law, in the Title VIII, alters the definitions of terrorism, and establishes or re-defines rules with which to deal with it. It law redefined the term “domestic terrorism” to broadly include mass destruction as well as assassination or kidnapping as a terrorist activity). The charge and guilty plea grew out of a gang dispute that led to a discharged gun and the death of a 10-year-old, a horrible crime.
The result of this is that innocent victims are killed, leading to incomplete family members in homes. This case is one of the thousands around the world with justice covered, but it always doesn’t end that way. Many people claim justice for a family members murder, and the majority of them are not listened to. Another important reason to consider street gangs as terrorist organizations is because streets gangs destroy communities. Gangs are a social problem and focuses not an individual member but on groups.
They start first killing our families’ members which constitutes the community; the future, the good, the ordinary community now in hands of people without principles, coming from dysfunctional families, failed schools, non-existent community structures and no respect for the living and love for their neighbor. Street gangs are growing like a cancer, and it seems like no one knows what actions to take anymore, losing control and letting them take charges, deciding who dies and who lives and controlling our lives, communities, cities, nations, and most important, our future.
Further information would be that according to La Republica. com. pe, Peruvian web page; the number of gangs in the district of Comas (a district within the Lima Province, Peru. Located within the Cono Norte area, of the city of Lima, it’s one of the most populous districts in the country), increased from 50 to 85 last year (2007) with more than 3000 gang members. As a result of this alarming number, the district of Comas was placed in “red light”, a signal of danger or warning in that area due to inadequate guard or protection; the house prices went down 30%, placing it as one of the worst districts in the country.
The street gangs are terrorizing every neighborhood in Comas, making rules for the population, including the police force. Many Peruvian psychologists place the blame for poverty on gangs, and the neighborhood districts agreed that this issue can expand to their communities. According to the mayor of Comas, Miguel Saldana, the law needs to be more severe to those who are breaking it. Something similar is happening with terrorism in Peru because the MRTA (terrorist group) destroys communities around the country.
Unfortunately, Peru faces two types of violence: street gangs and terrorism, but both of them with the same criminal purpose: to terrorize and create violence among Peruvian citizens. The third reason to consider street gangs as terrorist organizations is because gangs minimize the quality of life of any country. Two important characteristics define quality of life: psychical and psychological. An example of diminishing of these aspects is the country of Guatemala. For the past 10 years, street gangs in Guatemala have been on the rise.
According to Power Blogger, the street gangs have power of corruption over the police forces and the government, paying them large amounts of money to be permitted to do whatever they want. The blog also states that this type of political corruption is what keeps Guatemala moving on economically. Some people believe there are corrupted police members who ask them for money instead of putting them in jail. The reality is that if no one can stop the corruption, they might end up governing the country soon.
For example in Guatemala schools, little kids learn how to cheat, they don’t want to study anymore, and they prefer to cheat copying their tests or paying someone to do so. The Ministry of Governance estimates that there are currently 175,000 street gang members within the country’s borders, and the consequence is the increase of “clandestine” mafias, drug traffic and illegal commercialization of weapons. On other hand, the terrorists in Colombia engage in the same activities as street gangs like drug and weapons trafficking.
Physically and psychologically, after Colombia (for the terrorism), Guatemala is the worst country to live because it is so dangerous that you cannot even walk down the street in broad daylight without having the fear of being robbed, shot or stabbed. One of the street gang well known is the Mara 18. Another street gang infamous known is the Mara Salvatrucha from El Salvador, but it has spread all over Northern Central America and United States, they also can be found in another nations including Mexico, Canada, Colombia, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
The terrorism and gangs have the identical impact in Latin America, and these issues still alive because the weak laws and weak government finances. www. guatemalasolidarity. org. uk/? q=category/issues/gangs Admittedly, street gangs generally operate for profit (making money selling drugs and weapons), but they cause many assassinations in order to maintain the power in their territory. We see every day in our local newspapers the killing between different group of gangs and also the murder of innocent people that were wounded because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They act with no compassion and show no regrets.
It is the same technique used by terrorist groups when they want to intimidate and/or send a “message” to the government like the attacks of September 11. Also, terrorist groups are only motivated by political statement, street gangs do the same using political rhetoric to excite and recruit lower level members, usually young kids. These kids will join street gangs because they think they will be protected by them and because they don’t want to suffer the consequences of not joining them. For example: when is time to recruit new gang members, street gangs send physical threats to members of their community.
The difference doesn’t exist between street gangs and terrorism, and the results of their actions have the similar impact in our society. Finally, street gangs have the same or more impact as the terrorist organizations, and as result of their actions innocent victims are suffering the consequences of a broken home or a damaged community and not less important, the change in the pace of life of our society. In some places it is a big issue to go out at day or night, even with transportation. There are several streets where there is no access to the public because of street gang’s territorial invasion.
The police are so limited and do so little and most of the time, there is not enough protection even for them. We don’t know what to expect anymore. It is a battle where we are the victims and no one can control that. No one knows if one is safe in the streets, shopping in a mall or simply enjoying a family reunion in a park because one of these groups or bands can change our lives suddenly. Everybody wants a nice, quiet and respected neighborhood without gangs that involves any kind of violence. The only way to eliminate this social issue is considering them as domestic terrorists. Act with all the law power and keep them away from society.
This act could change more laws and gives a psychological impact to good people in the world. We need to get more involve and have more communication with our kids. We definitely need to get more involved with the youth to really teach them the values of life itself. We are the teachers of our kids. We need to show them to make the difference. Our reality reveals violence, terror and death. Have we gone too far already? Works Cited Page Beraun Liliana. “More Than 3000 Gang Members in Comas District. ” Larepublica. com. 12 Sep 2008. 12 Sep 2008. ;http://larepublica. com. pe/component/option… html;.
Blogger, Power. “Gangs in Guatemala”. Krlosfts. com 7 Oct. 2007. 12 Sep 2008 ;http://krlosfts. blogspot. com/Gangs/home. html;. Garcia, Michelle. “N. Y. Using Terrorism Law to Prosecute Street Gang. ” Washingtonpost. com 1 Feb. 2005. 12 Sep 2008 ;http://washingtonpost. com/wp-dyn/articles/A52504-2005Jan31. html;. Lexico Publishing Group, LLC. Terrorism. 2006. 12 Sep. 2008 ;http://dictionary. reference. com/browse/terrrorism;. Williams, Timothy. “Gang Member Is Convicted Under Terror Law. ” New York Times 1 Nov. 2007. 12 Sep 2008 ;http://nytimes. com/2007/11/01/nyregion/01terror. html;.