HomeNewsBriefAlleged Corruption Plagues Selection of El Salvador‘s Top Prosecutor
BRIEF

Alleged Corruption Plagues Selection of El Salvador‘s Top Prosecutor

EL SALVADOR / 19 NOV 2018 BY HÉCTOR SILVA ÁVALOS EN

Several candidates for Attorney General in El Salvador, as well as some of the deputies responsible for selecting the position, have open cases pending, putting the advances made by the office over recent years in jeopardy.

Four out of the 33 candidates, amongst them a former attorney general and a former director of customs, have active cases in the government's Court of Accounts (Corte de Cuentas), El Salvador's Attorney General's Office for Human Rights (Procuradora para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos), the tax office or the Attorney General’s Office, reported El Mundo.

Despite these open cases, El Salvador’s Congress still put them through the initial selection, giving them the same opportunities as those for candidates without any record. The first interviews will start on Monday November 19.

Furthermore, four out of seven Congress members in charge of selecting El Salvador’s top prosecutor have themselves been accused of alleged illicit enrichment, obstruction of justice, misuse of public funds and war crimes.

SEE ALSO: El Salvador News and Profiles

The replacement for current Attorney General Douglas Meléndez will be selected in December and will serve for a three-year period.

On November 13, Congress selected a six-member sub-commission that will interview the 33 candidates who filed the papers required by law. The list will then be sent to the house for a final vote.

InSight Crime Analysis

The selection of a weak attorney general by Congress members accused of corruption would put all the recent progress made by El Salvador’s Attorney General’s Office at risk.

After a past plagued with corruption, the institution has managed to recover under the stewardship of Meléndez, the outgoing attorney general.

Meléndez managed to, among other things, jail a former president on corruption charges and open investigations against another two former heads of state.

He also brought charges against his predecessor, Luis Martínez. Prosecutors say Martínez shut down investigations against politicians and business people accused of tax fraud and other crimes. The result was the institution was turned over to criminal groups and corruption networks that paid to play.

Meléndez, however, was left without the resources and time to strengthen the Attorney General’s Office.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

ELITES AND CRIME / 1 NOV 2022

Honduras has freed dozens of individuals tied to organized crime a year after reforming its money laundering law.

BARRIO 18 / 12 APR 2022

With a near unprecedented wave of arrests, the El Salvador government is doubling down and expanding on heavy-handed security policies,…

BRAZIL / 22 JUN 2023

Latin America's constantly growing prison population has seen tens of thousands of children growing up without their parents, with dire…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Contributes Expertise Across the Board 

22 SEP 2023

This week InSight Crime investigators Sara García and María Fernanda Ramírez led a discussion of the challenges posed by Colombian President Gustavo Petro’s “Total Peace” plan within urban contexts. The…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Cited in New Colombia Drug Policy Plan

15 SEP 2023

InSight Crime’s work on emerging coca cultivation in Honduras, Guatemala, and Venezuela was cited in the Colombian government’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Discusses Honduran Women's Prison Investigation

8 SEP 2023

Investigators Victoria Dittmar and María Fernanda Ramírez discussed InSight Crime’s recent investigation of a massacre in Honduras’ only women’s prison in a Twitter Spaces event on…

THE ORGANIZATION

Human Trafficking Investigation Published in Leading Mexican Newspaper

1 SEP 2023

Leading Mexican media outlet El Universal featured our most recent investigation, “The Geography of Human Trafficking on the US-Mexico Border,” on the front page of its August 30…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime's Coverage of Ecuador Leads International Debate

25 AUG 2023

This week, Jeremy McDermott, co-director of InSight Crime, was interviewed by La Sexta, a Spanish television channel, about the situation of extreme violence and insecurity in Ecuador…