Published May 17, 2019
A court in El Salvador has sentenced seven gang members to up to 30 years in the notorious "black widows" killings.
Prosecutors accused the defendants of recruiting women to perform domestic work and then forcing them to marry men who were killed to collect on life insurance policies.
The victims were tricked into thinking the women were U.S. citizens, and that marrying them would help them emigrate legally.
The members of the Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, gang were found guilty of human trafficking and illicit association, but absolved of fraud and propositioning homicide.
The women involved testified at trial and are now under official protection against reprisals. One said she was forced to get married in 2014 to Edgar Gutiérrez, who was murdered two months later.