Seven members of the notorious criminal gang Barrio 18 Revolutionaries in El Salvador received a 390-year prison sentence each for killing 11 people during a fierce gang war in March 2016.
The victims included three day labourers and eight workers of an electric company from San Juan Opico — a town located some 27 miles northeast of the capital San Salvador.
The men were found guilty of abducting and killing the 11 people. An El Salvador court on Wednesday (24 May) sentenced all the seven men to 35 years in jail each for the 11 murders, taking the total sentence to 385 years. An additional five-year sentence was given for their affiliations with illegal gangs, Reuters reported, citing the Twitter post of the attorney general's office.
Defense attorney Carlos Mejia, who represented the gang members, however, said he would seek an appeal against the verdict because a key witness in the case was not sworn in during the trial.
El Salvador is among the biggest crime-infested Central American nations, where gang wars and killings are commonplace.
Recently, another notorious gang, called Mara Salvatrucha or MS-13 was in the news after the decomposed body of a teen member of the gang was discovered in the country.
MS-13 and Barrio 18 Revolutionaries are rival gangs and violence between the two has reportedly surged since 2014, the news agency wrote.
The courts in the country have been giving out such symbolic sentences of hundreds of years to criminal gang members, with the longest prison sentence given so far being 730 years. A member of the MS-13 gang received the sentence in 2014 for 15 homicides and other crimes.