Guatemala Police Claim to have Captured MS-13 Leader

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Police in Guatemala say they have captured a leader of the notorious Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, street gang, on a par with Islamic State for brutality.

They tweeted that Ángel Gabriel Reyes Marroquín, known as Blanco (White), was found in the town of Chimaltenango, 50km (31 miles) west of the capital. He was reportedly wanted in connection with a gun attack on a hospital two months ago.

The gang operates internationally and was linked to the killings by machete of two girls in New York this year.

It originated in Los Angeles, has spread to 46 US states, but has roots in Central America. It has a reputation for extreme violence. One FBI gang specialist who has investigated the gang says its motto is “kill, rape, control”.

Local media report that the authorities believe Mr Reyes co-ordinated an armed attack on a hospital in August in which seven people were shot dead. Police suspect the attackers were trying to free one of their leaders, who was jailed and in the hospital under armed guard.

In 2014 Reyes faced charges including murder and was detained in a maximum security prison. Prosecutors reportedly believed him to be connected to the deaths of at least 287 people.

But he escaped, reportedly with the help of a group of people on motorbikes, while attending a medical appointment.

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