Document Type



Politics and Economics (CGU)

Publication Date



Defense and Security Studies | Peace and Conflict Studies | Political Science | Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This paper reviews the literature and research related to third generation street gangs. Widely known as third generation gangs (3 GEN Gangs), these complex gangs operation with broad reach—often across borders—and have mercenary and at times political and potentially terrorist objectives. These are frequently identified as transnational gangs, known as Maras, and occupy the 3 GEN niche. The typology of the three generations of gang revolution, based on the interaction of three factors: politicization, internationalism, and sophistication found in the literature is also described. Finally, future research and security concerns are identified.

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© 2007 National Gang Crime Research Center

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