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Enforcement and Removal
11/27/2014

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ICE removes MS-13 gang member wanted for involvement in 3 murders

SAFE Initiative has yielded more than 480 removals of wanted El Salvadoran criminals in 3 years

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — A 25-year-old MS-13 gang member wanted in El Salvador for her involvement in three aggravated murders was removed and handed over to El Salvadoran authorities Wednesday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement Removal Operations (ERO) officers from Dallas, Texas.

Margarita del Carmen Orellana-Rivas assisted MS-13 gang members with the murders of Patricia Beatriz Avalos-Caceres, Orlando Moran-Alvarado and Luis Osmaro Menjivar-Landaverde.

Orellana-Rivas was responsible for luring Avalos-Caceres and her baby to a predetermined location where Avalos-Caceres was beaten and ultimately strangled to death. Avalos-Caceres was targeted after serving as a witness in a case against fellow gang members. Her baby was unharmed.

In a separate incident, Moran Alvarado and Menjivar-Landaverde were also lured by Orellana-Rivas and ultimately shot to death by MS-13 gang members. In both cases, Orellana-Rivas plotted with the killers.

Orellana-Rivas, who illegally entered the United States near Hidalgo, Texas, in August 2014, was ordered removed by an immigration judge in October 2014.

“ERO officers work tirelessly with assistant attaches throughout the world to ensure that people like Orellana-Rivas are identified, arrested and removed from our country,” said ERO Assistant Director for Repatriation Marlen Piñeiro. “This woman committed unconscionable acts. We hope that through her removal, the families of the victims can receive some closure.”

She is the latest removal to El Salvador as part of ERO’s Security Alliance for Fugitive Enforcement (SAFE) Initiative. The SAFE Initiative is geared toward the identification of foreign fugitives who are wanted abroad and removable under US immigration law.

In just three years, through the SAFE Initiative, ERO has removed more than 480 criminal fugitives to El Salvador. Those removed as part of the SAFE Initiative have been deemed ineligible to remain in the United States and were all wanted by the Policia Nacional Civil (PNC), El Salvador’s national police.

SAFE aligns with ERO’s public safety priorities and eliminates the need for formal extradition requests.

In fiscal year 2013, ICE conducted 368,644 removals nationwide. Nearly 60 percent of ICE's total removals had been previously convicted of a criminal offense; 82 percent of individuals removed from the interior of the United States had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 11/28/2014