President Donald Trump made a number of promises during his 2016 campaign that he has worked tirelessly to make good on, especially with regard to keeping America safe from threats posed by transnational gangs like MS-13.
According to Reuters, Trump’s administration has once again scored a massive victory on that front, with the Department of Justice (DOJ) announcing late last week that through a joint operation with Mexico and several Central American countries, over 700 members of “transnational criminal organizations” like MS-13 have been arrested.
The charges were brought about through Operation Regional Shield (ORS), a DOJ-led mission to make a noticeable dent in the number of gang members who pose threats to all countries involved in the operation, including the United States, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, Reuters reported.
Another win for Trump
The arrests mark another big win for Trump, whose administration has never faltered in its fight to combat the growing presence of gangs like MS-13 and the 18th Street Gang.
In a statement from the White House earlier this year revealing the arrests of dozens of other MS-13 gang members, Trump proudly announced that it was yet another victory in his administration’s “all-out campaign to destroy MS-13, a vile and evil gang of people.”
Under the latest operation — ORS — the Trump administration and the aforementioned countries conducted simultaneous raids in the region, which resulted in the mass takedown of more than 700 would-be threats to the countries involved.
The idea to come together and fight back against transnational organized crime under ORS began in 2017 when the U.S. attorney general teamed with his counterparts in several Central American countries to coordinate their resources and efforts, leading to victories like this latest one.
According to a Justice Department press release, those efforts were bolstered even further by Trump in February when he signed an executive order known as “Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking.” The order made dismantling such gangs a top priority in the administration.
Safety in numbers
Attorney General William Barr proclaimed in a statement of his own that communities in the countries involved will be safer without such violent gang members plotting their next acts of evil.
“Our countries are made safer by working together to protect national security and to ensure public safety in our neighborhoods,” Barr said, according to the DOJ’s release.
Several other attorneys general in other countries that took part in the operation — which has ultimately led to over 11,000 arrests since its inception — also expressed their continued confidence in their abilities to combat gang-related crimes thanks to the partnership with the United States.
We can only hope that if media-declared President-elect Joe Biden is indeed handed the keys to the White House in January, he’ll continue these important missions with our closest neighbors to keep all countries involved as safe as possible from the ever-present threat of MS-13 and similar criminal groups.