HomeNewsBriefDC Pressure Behind Resignation of El Salvador Security Minister?

DC Pressure Behind Resignation of El Salvador Security Minister?


El Salvador's President Mauricio Funes denies that he bowed to U.S. pressure and forced Public Security Minister Manuel Melgar to resign, while hardliners in his political party say otherwise.

After two years serving as security minister, Melgar submitted his resignation to Funes on November 8. However, the minister had become so ineffectual at his job due to political pressures his decision to step down was a mere "formality," reports El Faro.

According to Jose Luis Merino, secretary of Funes' party the FMLN, Melgar resigned after the U.S. turned down his request for intelligence on drug traffickers based in El Salvador. Other members of FMLN have echoed these claims.

U.S. diplomats refuse to meet with Melgar because he is implicated in the 1985 killings that left four U.S. marines dead in El Salvador. During President Barack Obama's June 2011 trip to El Salvador, no U.S. representative met with Melgar.

A UN report on the incident found no evidence that Melgar was involved in the 1985 attack. The allegations against him stem from testimony by a former guerrilla leader given to U.S. authorities.

Funes denied allegations that U.S. pressure was responsible for Melgar's resignation. He also rejected rumors that he would replace Melgar with a military official.

During Melgar's tenure as security minister, he oversaw the deployment of the military to troubled city neighborhoods, as well as several prisons. He also saw a small decline in El Salvador's murder rate between 2009 and 2010, although the country still ended the year with more than 4,000 homicides.

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.


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.


Related Content

BARRIO 18 / 13 JUN 2016

El Salvador officials have attributed a steady decline in the violence-wracked country’s homicide rate to the government’s crackdown on gangs,…


The United States estimates that 60,000 children from Central America's Northern Triangle countries will enter the country without legal papers…

BARRIO 18 / 25 APR 2021

The ideas of masculinity, discrimination and homophobia within El Salvador's gangs are at the heart of "Unforgivable," a documentary who…

About InSight Crime


Unraveling the Web of Elites Connected to Organized Crime

27 JUL 2021

InSight Crime published Elites and Organized Crime in Nicaragua, a deep dive into the relationships between criminal actors and elites in that Central American nation.


InSight Crime’s Greater Focus on US-Mexico Border

20 JUL 2021

InSight Crime has decided to turn many of its investigative resources towards understanding and chronicling the criminal dynamics along the US-Mexico border.


Key Arrests and Police Budget Increases Due to InSight Crime Investigations

8 JUL 2021

With Memo Fantasma’s arrest, InSight Crime has proven that our investigations can and will uncover major criminal threats in the Americas.


Organized Crime’s Influence on Gender-Based Violence

30 JUN 2021

InSight Crime investigator Laura N. Ávila spoke on organized crime and gender-based violence at the launch of a research project by the United Nations Development Programme.


Conversation with Paraguay Judicial Operators on PCC

24 JUN 2021

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley formed part of a panel attended by over 500 students, all of whom work in Paraguay's judicial system.