El Salvador arrests more than 400 Mara gang members

August 29, 2018 GMT

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Police in El Salvador have arrested more than 400 gang members in one of the largest nation-wide crackdowns to date against the Mara Salvatrucha.

The gang is also known as the MS-13, and some of the arrested were allegedly involved in extortion, drug trafficking and ordering the killings of police officers.

The director of the National Civil Police said Tuesday the arrests were aimed at disabling the gang’s vast financial and logistics network.

Howard Cotto said that in more than 400 raids, police seized hotels, houses, vehicles and boats.

Those arrested include an evangelical pastor who allegedly gave gang members false certificates saying they had performed community service, when they hadn’t.