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09 December 2008

INTERPOL issues international alert following jailbreak in El Salvador

An urgent international security alert, known as an Orange Notice, has been issued by INTERPOL with the approval of authorities in El Salvador following the escape of prisoners in the capital, San Salvador, whom authorities have described as representing a threat to public safety.

Salvadorian authorities said the escape on 5 December from the Centro Judicial de San Salvador Isidro Menendez detention centre of 14 prisoners, nine of whom are still at large, included violent criminals involved in murders, kidnappings, extortion, drug trafficking and membership of a criminal organization.

The fugitives, all of whom are considered as highly dangerous, are alleged gang members of the violent street gang MS-13, also known as Mara Salvatrucha.

INTERPOL’s Orange Notice, sent to each of its 187 member countries, includes details of the identity of each of the fugitives – including names, aliases and photographs – as well as information on offences committed, to help law enforcement officers regionally and worldwide in their search and eventual identification when located and arrested.

“The authorities in El Salvador are clearly doing all they can on a national and international level to apprehend these fugitives by alerting INTERPOL and approving an Orange Notice to be issued for them,” said INTERPOL Executive Director of Police Services Jean-Michel Louboutin.

“It has long been established that the police and the public need to be warned when dangerous criminals are on the loose, as this protects citizens and increases the chances of arrest. Swift action in issuing an alert increases the likelihood of identification and apprehension,” he said.

The Orange Notice was originally created to warn police, public entities and other international organizations of potential threats related to disguised weapons, explosives and other dangerous materials. It can also be issued by INTERPOL’s General Secretariat in Lyon, France, for any act or event which poses a risk to the safety and security of citizens around the world.