Attorney General Jeff Sessions congratulated Attorney General Douglas Menéndez during their meeting in San Salvador this morning. This was after their announcement that Salvadoran prosecutors today charged 113 MS-13 gang members in El Salvador. Additionally, 593 gang members were charged yesterday, including many MS-13 members.
On the 9th of February 2017, President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order on Enforcing Federal Law with Respect to Transnational Criminal Organizations and Preventing International Trafficking to dismantle and eradicate transnational gangs threatening the safety of our communities.
In response, Attorney General Sessions has made dismantling transnational gangs like MS-13 a priority. The announcement, which comes as a result of the meeting the Attorneys General held in March of this year in Washington, D.C.
In the beginning of this year, the members of the MS-13’s Peajes Locos Salvatruchas Clique, occupying territory in the La Paz Department of the country, allegedly committed several high-profile murders including the killings of three victims from the LGBT community who were believed to have committed extortions without authorization from MS-13.
The killer who was involved in the high-profile murders fled to the U.S. and is now in ICE custody pending immigration proceedings. The ICE agents in El Salvador are coordinating with their counterparts in the United States to ensure that he is quickly removed and brought back to El Salvador to face charges.
The MS-13 investigation is being conducted by Salvadoran gang prosecutors who were trained and mentored by FBI and State Department Bureau of International Narcotics and Law advisors.
The Justice Department embedded Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development Assistance and Training (OPDAT) prosecutors, and police officers from the HIT Team.
The plans to transport witnesses to El Salvador for court proceedings are being conducted by the FBI and OPDAT teams.