There are various possible explanations for the name Mara Salvatrucha. Some sources state the gang is named for La Mara, a street in San Salvador, and the Salvatrucha guerrillas who fought in El Salvador's bloody civil war.
Additionally, the word mara means gang in Caliche and is taken from marabunta, the name of a fierce type of soldeir ant. "Salvatrucha" is a combination of Salvadorain and trucha, a Caliche word for being alert, usually entailing preparedness for crime or abuse from police.
The Mara Salvatrucha escaped from jail.