US puts heads of El Salvador MS-13 gang on sanctions list
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Treasury named two top figures in El Salvador’s notorious MS-13 gang to its sanctions blacklist Tuesday, accusing them of orchestrating assassinations against officials.
The Treasury said Salvadoran nationals José Roberto Orellana and Dany Balmore Romero García lead local Salvadoran “cliques” in MS-13.
The gang, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, is a 30,000-strong organization involved in drug and human trafficking, extortion, and other crimes in several Central American countries as well as the United States, and was officially labeled a transnational criminal organization by Washington in 2012.
As local leaders, Orellana and Romero “are responsible for orchestrating assassination campaigns against Salvadoran law enforcement, military, and government officials,” the Treasury said.
The sanctions aim to freeze any assets of theirs under U.S. jurisdiction and freeze them out of the financial system by banning any U.S. persons or entities from doing business with them.
“From leading local operations to orchestrating assassination campaigns for MS-13, Roberto Orellana and Romero García have sought to disrupt Salvadoran government efforts to combat MS-13 activity,” said John Smith, acting director of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, in a statement. “We will continue to undermine the reach and influence of MS-13 by constraining the financial resources of those who support it.”
You may be interested
A reader’s glimpse of Monteverde recoveryKatherine Stanley - October 19, 2017
Tico Times reader Margaret Burton wrote to us from the United States to share this photo taken by her brother-in-law Michael…
President Solís recovers from successful prostate operationKatherine Stanley - October 18, 2017
President Luis Guillermo Solís took a medical leave to undergo prostate surgery Wednesday after postponing the procedure last week to…
VIDEO: A closer look at ‘Battlefield’ before its Costa Rican premiereKatherine Stanley - October 18, 2017
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wujGfRevDOE&feature=youtu.be "Battlefield," from acclaimed director Peter Brook, premieres tonight at San José's National Theater. Read our full story here.