Salvadoran authorities arrested three men allegedly involved in the trafficking of fourteen Salvadorans killed in the slaughter of 72 migrants last August in the northeastern Mexican municipality of San Fernando.

The August massacre of scores of migrants was allegedly carried out by the Mexican gang the Zetas who, according to varying versions, either wished to extort money from the group or recruit them to work for the gang. Authorities were alerted to the mass killing by a survivor, who escaped after suffering a bullet through the jaw that was intended to kill him.

The Salvadoran suspects are believed to have worked for a human smuggling ring that recruited migrants from around the country. The gang would then lead the migrants through Central America and to the Mexican border, where the migrants were typically handed off to Mexican “coyotes,” or professional smugglers.

As armed drug gangs like the Zetas have become increasingly involved in human smuggling in Mexico, the trip across the U.S. border has become increasingly perilous.

As La Pagina reports, the men, apprehended in San Salvador, were allegedly in charge of recruiting and charging immigrants to be smuggled to the U.S.

Another man was arrested in connection with the killings in December 2010 in El Salvador.

The accused now face charges of illegal trafficking of persons in El Salvador.

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