The United States has no shortage of gangs. Gangs like the Gambino Crime Family or the Bloods and Crips have been sewn into our collective culture. We idolize them in music but we fear the very sight of them. In the midst of this world of violence, there is probably no gang more frightening, or more vicious, than MS-13.
MS-13, or simply MS, originated in Los Angeles in the 1980s and is mostly made up of Salvadorans. Its presence quickly spread across the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, and Central America.
Like every other gang in the world, MS is known for drug trafficking, human trafficking, extortion, larceny, money laundering, prostitution, racketeering, etc.
They are easily characterized by their sprawling tattoos covering their body and face and the use of their own sign language. They’re known for their extreme level of violence they base on a sick moral code.
In short, this is a gang you really, really don’t want to run into.
Earlier this year, MS took their violence to a whole new, “devilish” form of violence when two members in Houston, Texas murdered a teenage girl as a sacrifice to “the beast.”
Diego Rivera and Miguel Alvarez-Flores belonged to a subgroup within MS-13 that appeared to be dedicated to worshipping the devil. They had kidnapped a girl, Genesis Cornejo-Alvarado, and held her captive and sexually abused her.
Cornejo was reported missing by her family and police searched for her, but they believed that she was “actively hiding” from police. She had been missing for a month.
One night in February, the group’s leader Alvarez, known to others as “Diabolical,” was allegedly performing a satanic ritual of sorts. He offered a lit cigarette to a Satanic shrine when Genesis apparently challenged him, criticizing their ritual.
In response, Alvarez decided that Genesis would make a more suitable offering. “The beast did not want a material offering, but wanted a soul,” he said.
Alvarez and Rivera took Genesis to the side of a road on Sharpcrest near Corporate and shot her twice. Once in the head and once in the chest at close range.
They left her body there, unmoved. Police found Genesis’ body on February 16, 2017. It took them two weeks to identify her body.
Genesis was just one of three young girls kidnapped by the MS-13 members. Ranging from 14 to 16, these young women fell into the black hole of gang life and were eventually taken to an apartment and held against their will. While in captivity, they were force-fed drugs and alcohol and sexually assaulted.
One unnamed 14-year-old claimed that she ran away from school a month prior and met Alvarez and Rivera. She quickly fell into their world and was soon a captive in a southwest Houston apartment, where a man known as “Flaco” sexually assaulted her.
She was then moved to another apartment, the same one where Genesis was being held, and was held for 14 days. At one point, Alvarez tattooed the likeness of the Grim Reaper from her knee to her foot.
This unnamed 14-year-old witness was freed when Alvarez and Rivera were arrested during a SWAT raid. They were taken to the Harris County Jail where they were held on $150,000 bail. But, because they were both illegal immigrants, they were put on an “immigration hold” that keeps them from being released from jail.
Both Alvarez and Rivera were charged with Genesis’ murder. They’re expected back in court this month.