HomeNewsBriefCorruption in El Salvador: Top Police Officials Used ‘Fake’ Qualifications
BRIEF

Corruption in El Salvador: Top Police Officials Used ‘Fake’ Qualifications

EL SALVADOR / 5 NOV 2013 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

El Salvador authorities knew 15 top police officials had allegedly used false qualifications to move up to career ladder but did nothing about it, highlighting the entrenched corruption and impunity that facilitates organized crime.

The names of nine current commissioners, five chief inspectors and an inspector from the El Salvador National Police (PNC) appear in a 2001 Attorney General’s office investigation into false qualifications obtained by newspaper El Mundo.

The officials all obtained qualifications from universities later closed down for irregularities, including one that was found to be operating out of a private home with no classrooms, teachers, or students.They then used the qualifications to gain access to training programs and to allow them to increase their rank within the force.

Among the fifteen are: Commissioner Hector Mendoza Cordero, the current Deputy Director of Investigations and a member of the National Disciplinary Tribunal, who has been accused of corruption and links to the Texis Cartel; Godofredo Adalberto Miranda Martinez, an advisor to the head of the PNC who has been accused of drug trafficking and links to the criminal group the Perrones; Angel Barquero Silva, a former local Interpol chief; and Marco Mariona Escalante, who currently occupies the highly sensitive role of head of the Telecommunications Interception Center.

InSight Crime Analysis

It is no secret that organized crime in El Salvador has close ties to the national police and that this corruption runs through the organization, from street level to top officials.

What this case underscores is not that corruption exists but the scale of the challenge faced by those looking to uproot it. The officials were identified as fraud suspects as early as 2001, yet instead of facing further investigation they have risen through the ranks unimpeded, reaching some of the highest and most sensitive posts in the El Salvador police.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Police Reform

Along the way, many of them have become embroiled in serious scandals, related either to their personal conduct or their suspected criminal ties. However, these too have failed to provoke disciplinary action or be any obstacle to the men rising through the ranks.

As long as such impunity remains characteristic of how the El Salvador police operate, then the institution’s role as protector and facilitator of organized crime will continue.

Compartir icon icon icon

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.

Related Content

BARRIO 18 / 18 FEB 2016

An ongoing trial in El Salvador has included assertions that a gang leader was in regular contact with politicians and…

EL SALVADOR / 6 NOV 2014

Trial testimony from the self-described right-hand man of alleged El Salvador drug trafficker "Repollo" has provided a snapshot of the…

EL SALVADOR / 21 FEB 2018

The trial has begun in Spain related to the country's largest-ever operation against the MS13, revealing details of the Central…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…