Salvadoran Minors Sentenced for Burning Passengers on Minibus

first_imgBy Dialogo November 02, 2010 A Salvadoran court has sentenced two underage gang members to the maximum prison terms after finding them guilty of the aggravated homicide of seventeen people who were burned alive inside a minibus on 20 June, according to a statement issued by the judicial system. The judge of the First Juvenile Court, Lorena Morales, after a two-week proceeding, sentenced the fourteen-year-old, nicknamed “El Güilita,” to five years of detention for having sprinkled fuel on the passengers who were burned. At the same time, the other youth, a sixteen-year-old identified as “El Gárgola,” who shot at the victims who tried to leave the minibus, was sentenced to fifteen years of detention in the El Espino Juvenile Center, in the department of Ahuachapán, in the western part of the country. Both minors were charged with “aggravated homicide, attempted aggravated homicide, assault on seventeen people, and damage to a minibus used for public transportation,” the statement specified. In order to resolve the case, the judge, Lorena Morales, relied on “witness statements, forensic evidence, and expert testimony,” the announcement indicated. The massacre, which provoked a strong response among Salvadorans due to its degree of brutality, was perpetrated on the night of 20 June on a street in downtown Mejicanos, on the northern periphery of San Salvador, when according to witnesses, gang members proceeded to stop the minibus and after sprinkling the occupants with gasoline, set them on fire. According to the laws on juvenile crime, minors aged between 12 and 15 may receive a maximum penalty of five years of detention; however, for adolescents between 16 and 17 the penalty is fifteen years in a readaptation center. According to the press office of the courts, El Güilita is an orphan whose mother died of a terminal illness, while his father died as a victim of crime. The parents of the sixteen-year-old are involved in the same case, charged with illegal possession of weapons and drugs.last_img

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