New Details About MS-13, The Violent Gang Of Teens Who Were Arrested For The Horrific Revenge Murder Of A 15-Year-Old Girl

Photo: New York Post
MS-13 gang murder Damaris Alexandra Reyes Rivas
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18 people were arrested in connection to Damaris Alexandra Reyes Rivas' death.

Three members of the MS-13 gang — one of the nation's most violent and powerful street gangs known as La Mara Salvatrucha, MS or Mara  — pleaded guilty Tuesday to brutally killing a 15-year-old girl for revenge. 

In January, Damaris Alexandra Reyes Rivas was picked up and taken to a park in Virginia where a group of gang members assaulted her and made her stand in the snow barefoot and shirtless. 

There, they interrogated the teen about Christian Sosa Rivas, whose body was found Jan. 12. He was one the boyfriend of Venus Romero Iraheta, the 17-year-old girl who ultimately murdered Reyes Rivas. 

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Then they took Reyes Rivas under an overpass where they made her stand in frigid water so she could feel the same pain Sosa Rivas did.

Iraheta then stabbed Reyes Rivas 13 times in the stomach and neck and sliced off her tattoo. 

Just a month prior, Reyes Rivas told her mother she was being threatened by gang members at her school. The MS-13 believed she had lured Sosa Rivas to his death. 

Her body was found in February near an industrial park. Iraheta said she left her home after receiving death threats from gang members and returned a month later where she was quickly taken into custody. 

During Iraheta's trial in July, FBI agent Fernando Uribe testified that another gang member had filmed and narrated the murder on her cellphone with the intention of sending it to gang leaders in El Salvador. 

"She told her she would never forgive her and told her she would see her in hell," Uribe testified. 

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Three people — Cindy Blanco Hernandez, 19, Aldair J. Miranda Carcamo, 18, and Emerson Fugon Lopez, 17 — recently pleaded guilty to charges of abduction and gang participating in a plea deal that made them key witnesses in the trails of three other gang members — including Iraheta — who are being charged with the teen's murder. 

A total of 18 people were arrested in connection with the crime.

This case has many people asking more about what MS-13 is and who exactly is in the gang. They have as many as 10,000 members in 46 states, and the members have been convicted of everything from drug smuggling to human trafficking to murder. The gang originated in Los Angeles, California in the 1980s, but now is spread out in 42 states across the United States and has a strong presence in Washington DC, Houston, New York City, New Jersey, Boston, much of California and even Toronto, Canada. 

Most members are originally from Central American (principally El Salvador) and the majority of the people convicted and accused of crimes have been minors. They are known for their tattoos.

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Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, true crime, dating, relationships and everything in between. Every Wednesday at 10:20 p.m. you can ask her any and all questions about self-love, dating, and relationships LIVE on YourTango’s Facebook page. You can follow her on Instagram (@blackw00d) and Twitter (@emztweetz). 

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