Guatemalan police released a short statement today, claiming that they have captured the leader of Mara Salvatrucha, the notorious street gang the American continent has gotten to know as MS-13.
Mr Ángel Gabriel Reyes Marroquín, known to his followers as Blanco (White), was arrested in Chimaltenango, some 30 miles west of the Guatemalan capital Guate.
The FBI has declared MS-13 to be an international danger on the continent, as their motto is: ‘rape, kill, control’. MS-13 has over the years established a reputation for extreme violence and killing with machetes.
Blanco was arrested for a failed attack on a hospital in August of this year where seven people were shot dead. At that time, MS-13 gang members tried to free some of their other captured leaders who were being held inside a local jail in the hospital (this detail says a lot about the level of crime in the country).
Guatemalan prosecutors believe Mr Reyes Marroquín can be charged in connection with at least 287 murders in their country, and many more all over the American continent.
Given his history, it is of course unknown how long he will be in prison. Back in 2014, he was already arrested once and put into a high security prison but escaped during a medical appointment when a group of 30 armed men on motorbikes broke him out.
The gang started in the barrios of Los Angeles where it was formed by South American immigrants. The MS stands for Mara Salvatrucha, which is a combination of Mara, meaning gang, Salva, for Salvador, and Trucha, which translates roughly into street smarts or streetwise. The 13 refers to the position of the letter M in the alphabet.
President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have both acknowledged the danger of MS-13 and its international rise. They point the finger at former President Barack Obama and his open-door immigration policies to fuel the growth of the gang into spreading over some 45 US States.