Thursday, February 9, 2023

US assigns one of the 100 most wanted to El Salvador


SAN SALVADOR ( Associated Press) – United States immigration officials extradited to El Salvador Friday an alleged member of the Mara Salvatruca gang, one of the 100 most wanted criminals in the Central American country, to face trial for murder and related crimes. The US Embassy in El Salvador passed on information to terrorist organizations.

Erik Salvador Hernandez Bonilla, 24, who was wanted by Interpol and who illegally entered the United States on an undisclosed date, was captured by police in Beaufort, South Carolina, in September 2021. He was released into the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.

An immigration judge at the Justice Department’s Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) ordered the removal of Hernandez Bonilla to El Salvador on April 29, 2022.

Hernandez Bonilla, affiliated with the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang, according to the 100 Most Wanted list, will be prosecuted for homicide, femicide and terrorist organizations in El Salvador.

“Thanks to our cooperation (with El Salvador), this year we have brought 34 fugitives to face charges for crimes committed in this country,” Duhomme said on his Twitter account.

In return, Washington has called for the immediate extradition of at least 14 leaders of Mara Salvatrucha to El Salvador to face trial for crimes committed in that country.

In 2012, the US government added Mara Salvatrucha to its list of transnational criminal organizations, and three years later the Supreme Court of El Salvador declared it a terrorist, along with the Barrio 18 gang.

El Salvador’s draconian policy intensified after 62 homicides were reported in one day on 26 March. The Salvadoran Congress, at the request of President Nayib Bukele, approved a state of emergency to deal with gangs that suspend detainees’ basic rights such as trial of charges or access to a lawyer.

Since its application, authorities say they have held more than 58,000 people they allege are gang-related or cooperative. Social organizations have reported that they have managed to document over 4,000 cases of human rights violations during the first seven months of the measure’s validity. They claim that at least 80 people have died in the custody of the authorities.

The so-called maras or gangs, which are estimated to have around 76,000 members, are present in populated neighborhoods and communities in El Salvador. According to authorities, these groups are involved in drug trafficking and organized crime, they extort money from traders and transport companies, they murder people who refuse to pay, they add.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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