The defendant was former president Mauricio Funes, who won the Presidency leading the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front. According to the Salvadoran Justice, his sentence responds to a “truce” that he sealed with the country’s gangs during his government. The former Minister of Security and Justice, David Munguia, was also sentenced for “arbitrary acts.” In this context, President Nayib Bukele intensifies his offensive against criminal gangs.
14 years in prison for crimes committed during his government. A truce agreed between gangs during the term of the former president of El Salvador, Mauricio Funes, led the Justice of that country to investigate the role of the then head of state.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, Funes’ total sentence is divided into eight years for the charge of “illicit groups” and six for “failure to comply with duties.” The former president, who is currently in asylum in Nicaragua, was tried in absentia.
Also convicted was General David Munguia Payes, who served as Minister of Justice and Security during Funes’s tenure. He received 18 years in prison, almost five years more than his former boss, for “arbitrary acts.”
It is not the first time that a former president has been sentenced to prison in El Salvador in recent years. In 2018, Elias Antonio Saca was sentenced to 10 years in prison for corruption.
They considered themselves untouchable, but the time has come to put an end to so many years of selective impunity, those who made dark negotiations at the cost of the blood of Salvadorans have been sentenced to pay in prison for the damage caused to society.
This Government and State already… https://t.co/PGbQGN2KR6
— Gustavo Villatoro 🇸🇻 (@Vi11atoro) May 29, 2023
“They considered themselves untouchable,” current Security and Justice Minister Gustavo Villatoro said on Twitter. “The time has come to put an end to so many years of selective impunity, those who made dark negotiations at the cost of the blood of Salvadorans have been sentenced to pay prison for the damage caused to society,” he concluded.
The pact with criminal gangs
According to the Salvadoran Justice, local gangs, among which were the Mara Salvatrucha, known as MS13, and Barrio 18, agreed with the Government of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, headed by Funes, to reduce the number of homicides.
The deal, says the Public Ministry, was backed by favors such as benefits for the gang leaders in prison, a reduced presence of security forces in the neighborhoods where these illegal groups worked, and public investment in areas under the control of the gangs. .
#FightCorruption I the @FGR_SV He succeeded in getting former President Mauricio Funes and David Munguia Payes, former Minister of Justice and Security, to receive sentences of 14 and 18 years in prison, respectively.
The Fiscal Director Against Corruption provides more details of the case: pic.twitter.com/CNk0pmePxB
— Attorney General of the Republic of El Salvador (@FGR_SV) May 29, 2023
These actions were denied by Mauricio Funes in a statement made to the Prosecutor’s Office in 2016. However, Munguia Payes contradicted the politician’s version by stating that the armistice was part of a “pacification” policy.
Toughening of the policy against gangs
The current government, under the leadership of Nayib Bukele, announced that it will launch a new offensive against the “remnants” of the gangs. According to the Presidency, the objective of this measure is to avoid a “regrouping” of the gangs.
This Sunday, the President @nayibbukele He is meeting with the Security Cabinet.
Although we are decisively winning the #GuerraContraPandillaswe will launch an offensive against the remnants of these structures, to prevent any attempt at regrouping, such as… pic.twitter.com/Z6ExP6WK7F
— Presidential House 🇸🇻 (@PresidenciaSV) May 28, 2023
The justification for the tightening of the security policy was the murder of a member of the security forces at the hands of criminals. In response, the president deployed some 5,000 military personnel to cordon off the municipality of Nueva Concepcion, the area where the events occurred.
Bukele’s management has been marked by the so-called war against the gangs. Although the president is questioned by human rights organizations for his strategy, it has a high level of popular acceptance.
With EFE and Reuters
Source: France 24