HomeNewsBriefEl Salvador Investigating 80% of Country's Judges
BRIEF

El Salvador Investigating 80% of Country's Judges

EL SALVADOR / 3 SEP 2012 BY TRACEY KNOTT EN

The announcement that El Salvador has over a thousand unresolved complaints against 80 percent of the country's judges paints an unsettling picture of the country’s widespread judicial impunity.

The Salvadoran Supreme Court (CSJ) has 1,085 unresolved denunciations against the country's judges, some of them tracing all the way back to 1995, reported La Prensa Grafica. So far this year, 130 new complaints have been made.

Out of the country’s nearly 600 judges, 487 have had complaints made against them, with many receiving multiple. One judge alone has accumulated 63 different denunciations.

Since the creation of the Department of Judicial Investigation in 1995, 3,474 cases have been brought against judges, 2,389 of which have been resolved.

In accordance with Salvadoran law, none of the identities of the judges being investigated will be revealed.

InSight Crime Analysis

Revelations of judicial incompetence are nothing new to El Salvador, a country where the impunity rate is estimated to be above 90 percent. Nonetheless, the scale of judicial corruption, with over 80 percent of the country’s judges having complaints made against them, is worrisome. The large number of complaints made, as well as the number that have yet to be resolved since the Department of Judicial Investigation’s inception, suggest that the problem is deeply entrenched.

Even the plenary court that investigates the denunciations is not free from complaints. During the tenure of former CSJ President Belarmino Jaime, who had a petition of impeachment brought against him, two groups of magistrates were accused of hindering investigations of corruption to protect certain judges.

Moreover, in 2010, the then head of the Department of Judicial Investigation, Mateo Alvarez, was removed from his position when judges were accused of committing “excess entrapment” during investigations.

The US signed a Partnership for Growth earlier this year with El Salvador, an initiative aimed at transferring expertise to the Central American state to help it strengthen its institutions and fight organized crime. A comprehensive strategy to reform El Salvador's justice institutions is a key component of this.

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

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…

CRIMINAL MIGRATION / 5 MAY 2016

El Salvador officials have warned of gang members fleeing into neighboring countries to escape the pressure of security forces. But…

EL SALVADOR / 22 SEP 2016

El Salvador's Supreme Court has transferred 21 judges, including four that made rulings favorable to a prominent businessman accused of corrupting…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…