SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador — A 32-year-old Salvadoran man wanted in his home country on aggravated homicide charges was removed Friday by officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Atlanta, Georgia.
Edwin Alexander Cruz Canas was charged with aggravated homicide for his alleged involvement in the Dec. 16, 2011 murder of a Jose Erick Martinez de La O. According to an Interpol warrant, Cruz Canas was present when an accomplice allegedly shot and killed Martinez de La O.
ERO officers turned over Cruz Canas to the Policia Nacional Civil (PNC) of El Salvador upon his arrival in El Salvador.
Cruz Canas, who entered the United States unlawfully, was arrested in Marietta, Georgia, March 9, 2015 by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents who were acting on a public tip.
Cruz Canas 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 identifying foreign fugitives who are wanted abroad and removable under U.S. immigration law.
In just three years, through the SAFE Initiative, ERO has removed more than 530 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 El Salvador’s national police.
SAFE aligns with ERO’s public safety priorities and eliminates the need for formal extradition requests.
In fiscal year 2014, ERO removed 315,943 individuals from the United States. In addition to convicted criminals, the agency's enforcement priorities include those apprehended while attempting to unlawfully enter the United States, illegal re-entrants – individuals who returned to the United States after being previously removed by ICE – and immigration fugitives. In fiscal year 2014, 98 percent of ICE removals met these priorities.