They left gangs and found God. But they weren't spared in El Salvador's crackdown

April 24, 2023

(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)The MS-13 and Barrio 18 gangs fought on the street outside Eben-ezer Baptist Church for years. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)L.A.-born gangs ruled El SalvadorThe gangs that have long dominated life in El Salvador formed in Los Angeles. Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, were transplanted to El Salvador in the 1990s, when the U.S. deported thousands of Salvadorans. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)Reynoza joined MS-13 as a teenager, became a leader and spent several years in prison. Sanchez left El Salvador that month.