El Salvador indicts alleged gang leaders en masse

Authorities in El Salvador have simultaneously indicted nearly 500 alleged criminal gang leaders as part of a continuing security crackdown.

The country's attorney general said on Thursday on X, formerly Twitter, that his office had indicted 492 gang leaders for more than 37,000 crimes committed between 2012 and 2022.

The suspects are reportedly accused of crimes such as aggravated homicide, kidnapping and extortion.

The mass indictment was conducted via video link connecting separate detention facilities, where the alleged criminals are being held.

The move is part of harsh clamp-downs on criminal syndicates by El Salvador's leader, President Nayib Bukele, to restore public security. More than 75,000 alleged gang members have been apprehended so far.

The measures include the suspension of some constitutional rights. This has enabled law-enforcement officials to detain suspects without warrants.

The heavy-handed approach has drawn criticism from human rights organizations and the international community.