The gang is called MS 13, and is really a problem down there. He said in one letter that the gang members say goodnight to my son and his companion every night. He said in this recent email that one time the gang members charged them 10 cents to pass. I'm not sure why they don't charge them every time they pass. But evidently, they run a sort of mini-bus ring there and fight against people who try to compete with them. It is so hard to make a living down there, that people just resort to using their cars to give people rides for a small fee. But the gangs don't like that competition, so there are often murders of mini-bus drivers.
He said that one time a member of the church was held up by the gang and forced to take off his shirt. They were looking to see if he had any tattoos. If he would have had tattoos, they would have shot him. It's interesting that the church asks prospective missionaries if they have any tattoos. They ask them to describe the tattoos carefully and tell them where they are located. It really gives me peace of mind that my son doesn't have any tattoos.
I do believe that the Lord protects His missionaries. I am reminded of this scripture in the Doctrine and Covenants: "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." (D.&C 88:19) There have been some missionaries killed over the years, but the percentage is small. I have faith that God will protect my son. But that doesn't stop me from praying for his safety every day! I hope you will pray for him too. :)