Spain: Police arrest 35 in nationwide crackdown on Latin American gangs

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Spanish police have arrested 35 members of a violent street gang which has its origins in El Salvador.

Money and weapons were recovered in the operation which took in several cities across the country.

Officers have reported a growing threat from Latin American gangs in Spain where unemployment is rife among young immigrants.

The gang targeted on Monday was the notorious Mara Salvatrucha – police photographs show members with their distinctive tattoos displaying their gang allegiance.

The tourist hot spot of Barcelona is one of the cities with a growing gang presence.

It is estimated there are hundreds of different ones all with their own initiation rites and loyalties. Most members are aged between 17 and 25 who can often move on to more serious organised crime.