A court in El Salvador found 94 gang members guilty Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) For various offences, including the murder of the son of a police officer and a journalist. The leader of the faction was sentenced 1,090 years in prison.
Crimes of Police Officer and Journalist’s Son Henry Arana In 2017 occurred in the territory of the department of La Libertad, the Attorney General of the Republic of that country reported.
According to the agency, the MS-13 ‘Libertad’ group leader has been identified as . as done Cesar Alfredo Romero Chavez, Alias ’El Solo Tekla’ received a prison sentence of 1,090 years for grievous murder in connection with the deaths of 24 people between 2017 and 2018, including a police officer and Arana’s son.
Other sentences imposed by the court against gang members range from three years to six months in jail, up to 500 years.
Maras are present in populated areas and communities. These groups are involved in drug trafficking and organized crime. According to officials, they extort and charge merchants and transport entrepreneurs, and murder those who refuse to pay.
In 2015, that country’s Supreme Court of Justice declared the Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 gangs to be terrorist groups.
After 62 murders on March 26, a level of crime not seen in El Salvador in years, Congress approved a state of emergency that limits freedom of association and limits an individual’s rights to their rights and reasons for arrest. suspends the right to be duly informed about As well as the assistance of a lawyer.
Bukele: “They’re going to pay dearly”
These sentences were issued a day after the President of El Salvador, Naib Bukele, announced that the “war” against the gang would intensify after three policemen were killed during an ambush, possibly carried out by these organizations.
“It’s not going to stay like this and they’re going to pay dearly for the murder of these three heroes,” the president declared during a press conference in which he blamed the Barrio 18 gang of the so-called Surenos faction.
Among the trapped agents are the head of the 911 emergency systems section and two police officers (one male and one female) who were attacked in the La Realidad neighborhood in Santa Ana, the country’s second largest city, about 60 km west. Is. San Salvador.
“Gang members are fools, because we’re not going to back down. We’re going to intensify this war against gangs. Now they’re really going to see what it means to remove this security force,” the president said. promised.
In response to an increase of 87 murders committed between March 25 and 27, Congress accepted Bukele’s request to order an extraordinary rule that has allowed the arrest of 43,086 suspected gang members.
“Chemotherapy” as applied by Bukele
This extraordinary rule, extended until the end of July, allows arrests without a court order. It has been deemed “untenable” by Patrick Ventrell, in charge of the US embassy in San Salvador.
“This is an enduring policy that has already left thousands of detainees and many complaints of human rights violations, arbitrary arrests and death of detainees,” Ventrell said.
For Bukele, “to say that the emergency regime is unstable was probably an unfortunate opinion.”
“If you mean it can’t be forever, then we agree, it can’t be chemotherapy forever,” he said.
But “if this means that chemotherapy is stopped before the cancer is eradicated, it is completely absurd because the only thing we are going to achieve is that the cancer kills us all.”
Organizations such as Amnesty International and the NGO Human Rights Watch have called on the Salvadoran government to respect human rights.
The gangs MS-13 and Barrio 18 operate mainly in El Salvador. Before the government’s action, about 16,000 of their members were in captivity.
But with the arrests of the past three months, 59,086 members will be behind bars, officially believed to be 84% of the 70,000 members present in the country.