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20 July 2007

El Salvador captures murder suspect wanted by INTERPOL for police killings

A fugitive who was the subject of an INTERPOL wanted persons notice for the murder of two Salvadoran police officers has been arrested by El Salvadoran police.

Jose Mario Belloso Castillo was captured by the country’s National Civilian Police just one year after he fled the country following a protest rally during which two riot police officers were shot and killed and nine others wounded.

El Salvador ’s Minister of Public Safety and Justice Rene Figueroa said the arrest would not have been possible without the co-operation of authorities in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, and the INTERPOL Sub-Regional Bureau in San Salvador.

'Information was cross-checked, police intelligence was analysed, and the police officers displayed the determination required. The message is that crimes in El Salvador do not go unpunished, and the long arm of the law will eventually catch up with offenders and bring them to justice,' said Minister Figueroa in a statement.

Following the issue of the Red Notice at the request of the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in San Salvador, Castillo at some time re-entered the country and went into hiding, staying in a house on the outskirts of San Salvador which had a tunnel dug out beneath it.

There are currently more than 12,600 INTERPOL Red Notices in circulation, which have resulted in close to 2,500 arrests worldwide since the year 2000.