May 31, 2020

Salvadoran gang MS13 sought alliances with Mexican and Guatemalan cartels

Salvadoran gang Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) sought to establish alliances with Mexican and Guatemalan drug cartels to smuggle banned narcotics and weapons, a witness said Thursday in a trial facing 426 alleged gang members and front men.

According to the Judicial Branch, the witness identified only as "Noah" said that gang members were sent to Guatemala and Mexico "to make the gang grow more" and establish contact with drug trafficking.

The witness, supposed gang leader who is under the opportunity criteria, said that the structure established business with the "tentacles of the Z", without the source clarifying whether it is the cartel known as "Los Zetas".

He added that the Salvadoran gang trafficked between 200 and 400 kilograms of marijuana, valued at up to $ 500 per kilogram.

On the other hand, he pointed out that the structure received 9 kilograms of cocaine from Honduras for $ 112,500.

This same witness linked Wednesday the current mayor of the Salvadoran capital, Ernesto Muyshondt, with the purchase of votes to the gangs in the 2015 municipal and legislative elections.

"Noah," according to the judicial body, said the right-wing politician of the Nationalist Republican Alliance (Arena) handed him $ 69,000 "in exchange for votes."

The witness also said that the gang received money from the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) for the 2014 elections in which former President Salvador Sánchez Cerén won.

This is the second time that Arena and FMLN are singled out in a trial of handing over money to the "maras" to receive votes.

In August 2017, a witness identified only as "Nalo de Las Palmas" declared, during a trial against the operators of a controversial truce between the gangs between 2012 and 2014, that the two main political parties of El Salvador paid $ 350,000.

El Salvador is considered one of the most violent countries in the world for homicide rates per 100,000 inhabitants between 103 and 50.3 registered between 2015 and 2018, indexes attributed mainly to MS13, Barrio 18 and other minority gangs.

. (tagsToTranslate) Gang (t) salvadorena (t) MS13 (t) Mexico (t) Guatemala

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