Top U.S. law officer, in El Salvador, welcomes gang arrests: Justice Department

This post was originally published on this site

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Attorney General Jeff Sessions welcomed action by prosecutors in El Salvador to charge 113 members of the violent MS-13 gang, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday as Sessions visited that country for talks on cracking down on international crime.

The action by Salvadoran prosecutors came a day after they charged 593 gang members ahead of Sessions’ visit, including many MS-13 members, the Justice Department said. Sessions congratulated Salvadoran Attorney General Douglas Menendez on the crackdown.

“These are very significant blows to MS-13,” Robert Hur, principal associate deputy attorney general, told a briefing at the White House. He said taking down MS-13 was a top priority for U.S. President Donald Trump.

Reporting by David Alexander and Ayesha Rascoe; Editing by Cynthia Osterman