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Spanish gang member MS-13 convicted in New York for quadruple murder

A young member of the Hispanic MS-13 gang was found guilty Monday (April 11) by a New York state federal jury of participating in a 2017 quadruple murder by the victims, members of a rival gang, in a violent ambush. †

Leniz Escobar aka “The Diablita17, aged 17 at the time of the offenses, was also convicted of racketeering and obstruction of justice, and faces life in prison. His verdict will be handed down later by the federal court of Central Islip, on Long Island in the great eastern suburbs of New York, which is home to a large community of El Salvador. In the eyes of the authorities, the case illustrates the violence of this gang, Mara Salvatrucha (“the Salvadoran gang“, or MS-13), formed in Los Angeles in the mid-1980s by Salvadoran immigrants before exporting to Central America and other regions of the United States.

Beaten to death

On April 11, 2017, exactly five years ago, Leniz Escobar, who was performing with an accomplice, lured five young people she believed belonged to a rival gang to a park in Islip, where more than a dozen were waiting. MS-13 armed with machetes, knives, an ax and other weapons. One of the victims managed to escape, but the other four were beaten to death.

According to the prosecutor, Breon Peace, Leniz Escobar “showed complete disregard for human life by leading victims through a battlefield, to their slaughter, to cement his status with fellow cold-blooded killers within the MS-13 gangOne of the victims was so disfigured that she was only recognizable by her teeth markshe added.

For years, US authorities have faced violence from gangs such as MS-13. Since 2010, the prosecutor’s office has received charges from members of this gang, divided into local branches, for “over 60 murders in New York’s Eastern District‘ he recalled Monday. During his tenure, former US President Donald Trump made MS-13 one of his arguments to link illegal immigration and crime, thus justifying the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico. In particular, in July 2017 he went to Brentwood, a neighboring town of Central Islip, where MS-13 was accused of killing at least 17 people in one year.

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