El Salvador moves 400 'very dangerous' gang members

25 Apr 2015 / 10:09 H.

SAN SALVADOR: About 400 feared gang members were transferred under heavy guard to a high-security prison in El Salvador in an attempt Friday to choke the criminal networks behind an upsurge in already sky-high violence.
Prison authorities said the "very dangerous" gang members held in the east and north of the country will now be incarcerated in the formidable Izalco prison near the capital San Salvador.
The prisoners, moved to prevent them from communicating with other jailed gang members, will be under strict security measures to keep them under control.
The prisoner shuffle is part of a series of measures announced by President Salvador Sanchez Ceren to try and combat rising gang violence in the nation. The multiplying violence has included attacks on police and military forces.
March was the deadliest month in a decade, with 841 homicides committed in the nation of six million people.
Earlier this week, 1,100 gang members were transferred to other prison facilities to keep them away from their families and criminal groups.
The government has also created elite police and military units to try and confront the gangs.
In response, the two most feared gangs in the country, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Mara 18 (M-18), published a statement in the press saying they would respect the government and limit the number of murders.
Authorities estimate the gangs have 70,000 members in the country, 10,000 of whom are behind bars.
The gangs were started by Salvadorans in Los Angeles who then spread the groups back to their home country. – AFP


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