Last week’s big question – whether it’s OK to call people “animals” when they decapitate others for fun, rip out their hearts and rape and slaughter children – has been answered.
Despite the attacks by Democrats and journalists on President Donald Trump for using the word to describe the uniquely brutal MS-13 gang, including House minority leader Nancy Pelosi’s impassioned defense of MS-13 as “God’s children” and progressive writer Rob Rousseau’s Twitter claim that “I would rather my daughter dated a member of MS-13 than a member of the Republican Party,” it turns out Trump was right.
Indeed, an announcement Tuesday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts is headlined: “MS-13 Member, Known as ‘Animal,’ Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for RICO Conspiracy Involving Murder.” The press release is subtitled, “Defendant admitted responsibility for murder of 15-year-old in East Boston.”
“Joel Martinez, a/k/a ‘Animal,’ 23, a Salvadoran national formerly residing in East Boston, was sentenced to 40 years in prison and two years of supervised release,” says the statement, a collaboration of the FBI and state and local law-enforcement agencies, adding: “Martinez will be subject to deportation upon completion of his sentence.”
So what crime did “Animal” – that is, Martinez – commit? Here’s the chilling story, according to the law-enforcement report:
Martinez admitted that on Sept. 20, 2015, he murdered a 15-year-old boy on Trenton Street in East Boston. During recorded conversations between Martinez and a cooperating witness, Martinez acknowledged being a member of MS-13 and admitted that he stabbed the victim to death.
Specifically, Martinez said, “I stabbed the culero three times,” and stated, “He stared at me and he asked me if I was going to, if I was going to stab him. I told him, ‘Yes, the Mara rules you.'”
After the murder, Martinez was “jumped in” and made a “homeboy,” or full member of MS-13’s Eastside Loco Salvatrucha (ESLS) clique during a ceremony that was surreptitiously recorded by agents. When a prospective member is “jumped in,” members of the MS-13 clique beat the new member with their hands and feet while one of the leaders of the clique counts aloud slowly to thirteen.
MS-13 is made up primarily of illegal aliens from Central America, and is notorious for its chilling brutality – human smuggling, kidnappings, arms trafficking, rapes, stabbings, murders and decapitations.
The Washington Post offered a glimpse of MS-13’s horrific crimes in a November 2017 report:
As many as 10 members of the MS-13 street gang lured a man into a park in Wheaton, Md., spoke with one another over walkie-talkies as he arrived, stabbed him more than 100 times, decapitated him and then cut out his heart, according to police documents made public Wednesday in Montgomery County District Court.
In July, Fox News shared this example:
“MS-13 suspected that some of the men were from a rival gang, and directed the female associates to lure them to a community park … where a group of MS-13 members would be waiting to attack and kill them,” federal prosecutors wrote in the letter …
“One of the targeted victims ran immediately and escaped, but the group of MS-13 members and associates attacked and killed Llivicura, Lopez, Tigre and Villalobos, using machetes, knives and wooden clubs,” prosecutors wrote. “[The four victims] were surrounded by more than a dozen MS-13 members, including the defendants, and engulfed in a horrific frenzy of violence as they were brutally bludgeoned, sliced and stabbed to death.”
Trump’s comment referring to MS-13 as “animals” was initially reported widely by news organizations as applying to all unauthorized immigrants, much as Trump’s long-ago acknowledgement that there are “rapists” among those illegally crossing America’s southern border was widely reported as somehow meaning all Mexican immigrants are rapists.
The “animals” reference came in response to a question last Wednesday from California’s Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mim, questioning President Trump about restrictions placed on federal immigration databases and the resulting difficulties in identifying and rounding up MS-13 gang members.
Mims told Trump: “There could be an MS-13 gang member that I know about. If they don’t meet a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about them.”
To which Trump responded: “You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals. And we’re taking them out of the country at a level and a rate that’s never happened before. And because of the weak laws, they come in fast, we get them, we release them, we get them again, we bring them out. It’s crazy.”
However, instead of providing the actual context of the quote – the president was clearly responding to a specific question about MS-13 – major media including CNN, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News and C-SPAN all shared an edited clip omitting Mims’ question and making it appear Trump was calling all illegal immigrants “animals.” Indeed, CNN’s on-screen chyron stated: “Trump slams some illegal immigrants: ‘They’re Animals.'”
Only the Associated Press admitted its mistake in a tweet stating, “AP has deleted a tweet from late Wednesday on Trump’s ‘animals’ comment about immigrants because it wasn’t made clear that he was speaking after a comment about gang members.”
AP has deleted a tweet from late Wednesday on Trump’s “animals” comment about immigrants because it wasn’t made clear that he was speaking after a comment about gang members.
— The Associated Press (@AP) May 17, 2018
Then started the unprecedented defense of MS-13 itself:
CNBC’s John Harwood tweeted: “However repugnant their actions, MS-13 gang members are human beings IMHO.”
Even Mexico’s foreign minister expressed his outrage, saying Trump’s statements were unacceptable and that the Mexican government will file a formal complaint with the U.S. State Department.
Going a step farther, in a press conference Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi blasted the president, saying, “Some of us who are attracted to the political arena, to government and public service” believe “we are all God’s children.”
“There is a spark of divinity among every person on earth, and we all have to recognize that as we respect the dignity and worth of every person,” Pelosi continued.
The House minority leader added: “So when the president of the United States says about undocumented immigrants, ‘These aren’t people, these are animals,’ you have to wonder, does he not believe in the spark of divinity, the dignity and worth of every person?”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tore into Democratic lawmakers and media outlets over the issue, saying the term “animals” doesn’t go far enough to describe the brutality of “horrible, horrible, disgusting” MS-13 gang members.
“The president was very clearly referring to MS-13 gang members who entered the country illegally and whose deportations are hamstrung by our laws. This is one of the most vicious and deadly gangs,” Sanders said.
“If the media and liberals want to defend MS-13, they’re more than welcome to. Frankly, I don’t think the term that the president used was strong enough. MS-13 has done heinous acts,” the press secretary continued.
“It took an animal to stab a man 100 times and decapitate him and rip his heart out. It took an animal to beat a woman they were sex-trafficking with a bat 28 times, indenting part of her body. And it took an animal to kidnap, drug and rape a 14-year-old Houston girl. Frankly, I think that the term ‘animal’ doesn’t go far enough.”