SAN SALVADOR – A court in El Salvador sentenced a man to seven years in jail for organizing the smuggling into the United States of 17 undocumented Salvadorans, who have been missing since 2006 and are feared dead.
A spokesperson at the Isidro Menendez Judicial Center told Efe on Friday that the court in the western city of Ahuachapan on Thursday sentenced Josue Alexander Guevara Morales for the crime of people trafficking.
Guevara Morales was identified during the trial as the person in charge of organizing travel to the United States for some 17 undocumented Salvadorans.
The Salvadorans, who had to pay between $5,000 and $6,000 each to the traffickers, began the journey on March 22, 2006, and since then their whereabouts has remained unknown.
The court found that the group was taken by Guevara Morales to Puerto de Ocos in Guatemala, where he handed them over to another people trafficker, who as yet has not been identified.
Authorities suspect that the Salvadorans were shipwrecked in the Mexican Pacific in their attempt to reach the United States.
The Menendez Center said that since the bodies have not been found and there is no certainty about the migrants’ fate, Guevara Morales could not be tried for their deaths. EFE