Story By: Jonathan Macias, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
A doctor and a lawyer have been charged with belonging to a criminal gang which forced women to marry men before killing off the husbands and taking their life insurance.
According to the Attorney’s Office of the Republic, doctor Arturo Armando Minero and the lawyer Edwin Enrique Hernandez Varela have been charged with belonging to the gang and the trial is currently being held in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador.
The gang was led by Esmeralda Aravel Flores Acosta who was sentenced to 30 years of prison in May 2019 together with four women and three men accused of human trafficking, fraud, belonging to a criminal association and carrying firearms.
The seven other people were named as Maria Jose Flores Acosta, Juan Abilio Guerra Melgar, Franklin Bladimir Lopez Flores, Roberto Omar Alvarez Leiva, Wilber Javier Caceres Benitez, Edith Emelda Ramirez y Maria Cristina Flores de Cruz. They received prison sentences of between 15 and 30 years.
Flores Acosta reportedly employed several women to work at her house as maids and she then threatened them with the help of her accomplices to make them marry men before killing the husband’s to take advantage of their life insurance policies.
Reports stated one of the victims of the criminal gang identified as ‘Monica’ told local authorities she started to work as a maid and babysitter for Flores Acosta looking after her four children.
When she tried to quit the job after being warned by another maid in the house she was threatened by the gang who allegedly said they would kill her if she did not obey Flores Acosta’s orders.
Monica then reportedly married local farmer Melvin Ostmaro Reyes Rosa in October 2016.
According to local media, Flores Acosta promised Monica’s husband she would help them obtain a United States visa if he contracted life insurance.
Monica reportedly told local police she received 62,500 SVC (5,529 GBP) from the insurance after her husband was murdered and she identified his body. She said Flores Acosta then took the money from her.
Reports said the farmer was murdered by Wilber Javier Caceres Benitez, a leader of the criminal gang the MS-13, also known as Salvatrucha, which originated in Los Angeles (United States).
Caceres Benitez was later sentenced to 20 years in prison for murder and belonging to the criminal gang along with the seven others who have been found guilty.
The case is ongoing.
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