Basically, MS-13 doesn't fear prison or Donald Trump. They don't even fear death but La Soma Negra gives them the "Willies."
Spanish for "The Black Shadow," La Sombra Negra is a paramilitary organization that is highly mysterious, part death squad, part vigilante group and dedicated to responding in extreme kind to MS-13's ruthlessness.
In cases where La Sombra Negra has captured MS-13 gang members, they purportedly sexually tortured them and dismembered their bodies before ending the pain with a bullet. Their bodies were left to be found by family or fellow gang members.
The gang is believed to be comprised of police and military members. And while they aren't active in the U.S., they have proven to be a major deterrent to their scum-baggery in its homeland. President Trump, I suspect, would welcome them.
La Sombra Negra first showed itself in the early 1990s after the El Salvado civil war. They tend to resurface now and then and they have put the heebie-jeebies on MS-13.
It was in 2014 when they last emerged, their graffiti popping up around the country and an anti-gang Facebook page thought to be linked to the group appeared online.
The MS-13 gang members were found dead.
In January 2014, armed men dressed in dark uniforms and carrying M-16 assault rifles entered a house near the town of Suchitoto. Seven MS-13 members were watching either a movie or cartoons and the armed men opened fire.
Three of the gang members escaped and the four others were beaten and left with a bullet to the head--La Sombra Negra's signature salutation.
"Most of the victims were blindfolded, their hands or thumbs tied behind their backs, and they had received tiros de gracia (a coup de grâce), shots to the base of the skull at close range by weapons such as assault rifles and machine guns," a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services report on the group's tactics noted.
Several days after the incident, flyers appeared in towns across El Salvador signed by "La Sombra Negra." The flyers contained a list of gang members and added "nothing will stop us."
Thirteen gang members soiled themselves, which is how MS-13 originally got its name. They used to be called "The Not Very Nice Guys With Facial Tattoos."
In the spring of 2014, El Salvador human rights officials were able to identify 10 homicide cases connected to La Sombra Negra, the deadly 'Robin Hoods' of their country.
Last March, La Sombra Negra drove to a small town of San Antonio Silva, forced four notorious gang members into the back of a pick-up truck and drove to a soccer field where they executed them at point blank range.
Their work has become legend.
Now that MS-13 has gone into other countries in Central America, La Sombra Negra has also gone international. There have been reports from Guatemala where the group pulled people off local buses to carry out their "cleansings."
MS-13 has become so frightened of their own medicine that some of them have gone so far as to remove their tough guy tattoos, stopped using gang signs and, in some cases, asked judges in the U.S. to grant them asylum out of fear for their miserable lives if they return to their home country.
Liberal judges probably will grant them asylum--the poor dears.
The pressure on MS-13 has been made worse by copycat groups of La Sombra Negra and their violent tactics of combating crime. A death squad known as Los Exterminio is apparently responsible for no less than 40 murders of MS-13 scum in 2016--including the execution-style elimination of seven MS-13 members on an El Salvador country road.
El Salvador's Attorney General Douglas Meléndez noted that whenever vigilante groups like La Sombra Negra and Los Exterminio kill MS-13 gang members, the violence in the region goes down. It's simple math, but he added that it's still up to the law to dispense justice.
Except they apparently suck at it.
"After the killings that Los Exterminio were doing, things have been quiet," he told local media. But added that "it is the judges, the police, the prosecutor who must apply the law, not extrajudicial groups, because in the area gang members are killed, but so are people who are not. We are not going to allow our country to become the Old West."
When all is said and done, if you can scare the bejeezus out of MS-13, you've done a good thing.