An American woman was in custody in Honduras for allegedly heading one of the country’s most notorious gangs that has driven thousands to the U.S. to seek refuge, authorities said Wednesday.
Amarjit “La Chucky” Pabla and two other Hondurans were arrested Tuesday night in a poor neighborhood of the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa, Reuters reported. Authorities also seized seven firearms.
A National Anti-Extortion Force (FNA) spokeswoman told Reuters that Pabla heads the Mara Barrio 18 gang and has ordered numerous murders in turf wars with rival factions.
Pabla was born in California to an American father and a Honduran mother, according to Reuters. The FNA says she is the wife of Cristian Ariel “Little Sam” Calix, a Mara Barrio 18 leader who has been in prison since December on arms and drug trafficking charges.
The “maras’ were formed in the U.S. by Central American immigrants in the 1980s. They turned into notorious international factions when most of their members were deported to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
The Mara Barrio 18 and Mara Salvatrucha 13 have waged war against each other in an attempt to control the drug dealing throughout Central America.