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Too close to home

Don RogersDaily Managing Editor

A reference to Eagle County shows up in a long Los Angeles Times story Sunday about a notorius gang.A pregnant MS-13 member who told authorities the details behind a gruesome murder in Texas described traveling to visit gang leaders in Seattle, San Diego, Tijuana, Idaho and Eagle County, the Times reported. Then she was murdered herself, along with her fetus, in Virginia. The paper described the 17-year-old as having been hacked to death, actually.The Times describes the gang of El Salvador refugees starting in Los Angeles and spreading its form of terror across this country on down to Honduras. Gang members are accused of killing 28 people, including six children, while shooting up a bus in Honduras in December, The gang is also notorious for victimizing illegal Mexican immigrants who stream across our border with few rights but often enough carrying cash.The Times says federal authorities estimate MS-13 numbers 10,000 across the United States, and 30,000-50,000 in total.The FBI has formed a task force just for this group, which originated 20 years ago in some of Los Angeles’ worst neighborhoods.So it seems Eagle County’s connections to LA extend beyond Kobe Bryant, and this one is rather more chilling.With I-70 running through and many recent Hispanic immigrants in the valley, Eagle County would be an ideal hideout for gang leaders.No doubt, the bulk of gangster posing locally remains juvenile wannabes in search of identity.But these children are not so far removed from the real thing, and the most vicious of gangs in the United States, as some of us may have supposed. Vail, Colorado


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