Children of the War | Chicago Reader

Children of the War

This alarming documentary looks at the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, a fearsome street gang that was founded in LA by refugees of the Salvadoran civil war and now stretches across the U.S. and Central America. Graphic video footage testifies to the gang's murderous wrath, and comments from Robert Clifford, director of the FBI's task force on MS-13, don't inspire much confidence in the feds' ability to combat the problem. Director Alexandre Fuchs shows how the gang has usurped the roles of family and government for poor, disenfranchised Latino immigrants, though his left-wing slant leads to some rather convoluted judgments: President Reagan is fingered as the father of MS-13 for his support of the Salvadoran junta, yet the end credits pay tribute to Ernesto Miranda, one of the gang's actual founders, who went straight and was gunned down two months after Fuchs interviewed him. 81 min.

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