FILE - A police officer and soldiers walk as they deploy during the launch of the new security policy in San Salvador, El Salvador, June 20, 2019.
FILE - A police officer and soldiers walk as they deploy during the launch of the new security policy in San Salvador, El Salvador, June 20, 2019.

SAN SALVADOR - Authorities in El Salvador say they have broken up a criminal network involving police officers — including some elite forces — that allegedly carried out more than two dozen contract killings.

Justice Minister Rogelio Rivas says 11 people were arrested in connection with the group, which is said to have operated in the eastern departments of Usulutan and San Miguel.

Thirty-nine warrants were issued.

The alleged crimes include 20 individual murders plus multiple killings of up to five people as well as three kidnappings, all committed in 2016-2017.

Chief Prosecutor Raul Melara said Monday the suspects are accused of aggravated homicide and illicit association.

He added that the suspects are "people who were supposed to protect the life of Salvadorans (and) do not deserve to call themselves police."
 

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