Boston 25 News takes you inside an El Salvador gang jail

DEDHAM, Mass. - A bitter gang battle with roots in Central America has deeply affected immigrant communities here in New England.

Boston 25 News was the only station invited to travel to El Salvador with Boston-area law enforcement to see how they're fighting the gang war here at home and abroad.

We were taken into one of the world's most dangerous countries to meet some of the players involved in an international investigation.

One of the places we visited was a gang jail just outside of the capitol of San Salvador.

The conditions inside of that jail were medieval, forcing our group to wear masks due to a tuberculosis outbreak.

Criminal gang members deported from the United States would end up in a jail like this.

In here are members of Barrio Dieciocho, or the 18th Street Gang. A transnational gang that has helped make El Salvador the murder capital of the world.

Jails in El Salvador are divided by gangs to protect the inmates and the guards. For a jail that's supposed to hold 500 prisoners, there were well over 1,800 in here. Hundreds of men forced to live inside one cell with no plumbing or air conditioning.

18th Street Gang and their rival MS-13 have made their presence known here in the New England area.

In this In Depth special, we'll show you how murders in the greater Boston area were being ordered from inside these Salvadoran jails.

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