The sophisticated criminal scheme that has woven the Mara Salvatrucha gang (MS-13) in El Salvador, where he spawned his fiercest version, he continues to surprise the authorities. Recent trials have shown that the band won a lot of money operating poultry farms, coffee plantations, Motels, bars and brothels.
It is not your only source of income. This week concluded a surprising judicial process in which it was confirmed that the Mara also handled a network that kidnapped women promising them work as maids. Once under his control, he exploited them laborily and forced them to marry.
The investigation found that some husbands of these women, who were led to believe that marriages would help them enter the United States, They were killed by the MS-13 to collect their life insurance. This criminal cell came to have $ 62,000 in their bank accounts.
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The Fifth Judge of Judgment of San Salvador, issued prison sentences of between 3 and 20 years in prison, for defendants linked to the Case. pic.twitter.com/h09bOiPVZj
& mdash; Office of the Attorney General of the Republic of El Salvador (@FGR_SV) March 4, 2020
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The authorities of El Salvador affirm that it is the first to see that they dismantle such a structure within the bloodthirsty MS-13, demonstrating that the band has gone beyond its traditional criminal portfolio that receives resources from the collection of floor, robberies, drug trafficking and illegal arms sales.
The nightmare of two exploitation survivors ended on Wednesday, when a Salvadoran court imposed sentences of up to 20 years in prison to seven defendants in a case that the Prosecutor’s Office of that country called ‘Black Widows II’. Their guilt was determined in the crime of aggravated trafficking in persons in the form of sexual exploitation and forced marriage.
The leader of this criminal organization was Esmeralda Arabel Flores Acosta, who was sentenced to spend 20 years behind bars.
The rest of the band will spend three years in prison. This is the lawyer Edwin Enrique Hernández Varela and his accomplices Omar Álvarez Leiva, María Cristina Flores de Cruz, Wilber Javier Cáceres Benítez, Edith Emelda Ramírez and Juan Abilio Guerra.
“It has been demonstrated before the judge that the crime of trafficking is a permanent crime and, consequently, established that one of the victims was submitted by the traffickers until 2017,” said an official of the Attorney General’s Office (FGR ) of El Salvador at the conviction hearing.
Five members of this criminal cell already purge sentences of up to 30 years in jail after being found guilty in 2019 in another related case they called ‘Black Widows I’.
Three people, including a doctor, were acquitted on Wednesday, the FGR said in a statement.
Two MS-13 victims who were identified by prosecutors as ‘Britany’ and ‘Mateo’ testified that the gang abducted them between 2014 and 2015 by offering them to clean houses. But they were not paid.
At a time of their captivity they were forced to marry men, who were asked to buy life insurance policies. They were told that these marriages would help them easily enter the US. Having done all this, the mareros killed the husbands and forced the widows to carry out the necessary procedures to collect the insurance.
It was not revealed how many people were killed for this purpose.
The Mara Salvatrucha was born in Los Angeles in the 1980s, but established its bases of operations in the northern triangle of Central America when they began deporting their convicted members. Their violent acts are one of the main causes of the mass exodus of migrants to the US.