Three Costa Ricans are among the more than 1,300 gang members arrested in the largest operation against gangs by US authorities in recent years.
The police action carried out in the last six weeks throughout the territory of that country was executed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Hundreds of criminals are being prosecuted for drug trafficking offenses, gun smuggling, human trafficking, human trafficking for sexual exploitation and homicide.
There are 933 US citizens, 249 Mexicans, 72 Salvadorans, 63 Hondurans, 19 Guatemalans, 10 Dominicans, three Ecuadorians and three Costa Ricans among the arrested.
Gangs threaten the security of our communities, not only in large metropolitan areas, but also in our rural areas,”
said Thomas Homan, Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at a press conference in Washington.
DHS investigator Derek Benner explained that three of the criminals had benefited from the Barack Obama-led Deferred Action program (DACA), which provided an opportunity for undocumented immigrants who arrived at an early age to the United States to stay in the country.
Of the 1,378 arrests, 1,095 had specifically declared allegiance to certain maras or gangs, including 137 members of the Bloods, 118 members of the Sureños, 104 of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and 104 of the Crips, a gang constituted by African-Americans,”
The maras had their origin in the west coast of the US 30 years ago, when groups of Central American migrants began to form feared criminal gangs that later extended their tentacles to the northern triangle of the region.
That is why the North American authorities pointed out that cooperation with the Central American governments will be vital to address this problem.