El Salvador nabs escaped leader of for-hire hit squad

Marixa Lemus facing the media in El Salvador on Thursday. She had fled from a Guatemalan prison where she was serving a 94-year sentence.
Marixa Lemus facing the media in El Salvador on Thursday. She had fled from a Guatemalan prison where she was serving a 94-year sentence.PHOTO: REUTERS

GUATEMALA CITY • Security forces in El Salvador have captured the female leader of a for-hire hit squad two weeks after she escaped from a Guatemalan prison where she was serving a 94-year sentence.

Marixa Lemus, a 45-year-old Guatemalan who went by the nickname "The Boss", was arrested in the western part of El Salvador near the Guatemalan border.

She had dyed her hair blonde "to try to avoid being identified", Guatemalan Interior Minister Francisco Rivas told reporters.

Lemus had escaped her military- run prison north of Guatemala City on May 11. She was sentenced to her lengthy term in March 2015 for heading a gang that specialised in abductions and contract killings.

The group was notably accused of carrying out a bomb attack on Dec 13, 2013, against the mayor of the south-east town of Moyuta that failed to harm its target.

After Lemus' jailbreak, several guards who were supposed to be watching her were arrested, the prison warden was sacked and a nationwide search was launched.

She still faces trial on charges of ordering the murder of her husband in 2013.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 27, 2017, with the headline 'El Salvador nabs escaped leader of for-hire hit squad'. Print Edition | Subscribe