HomeNewsBriefKey El Salvador Gang-Underworld Player May Go Free
BRIEF

Key El Salvador Gang-Underworld Player May Go Free

EL SALVADOR / 30 JUN 2014 BY JAMES BARGENT EN

One of El Salvador's most notorious underworld figures and a key link between the MS13 gang and drug traffickers is set to walk free in a blow to efforts to end the impunity that surrounds the country's most powerful criminals.

The lawyers of Jose Misael Cisneros, alias "Medio Millon," have filed for his release as prosecutors have failed to bring a case against him since he was arrested over two years ago, breaching the amount of time someone can be held without trial in El Salvador, reported El Mundo.

Cisneros has been facing charges of unlawful association for his ties to the Fulton Locos Salvatruchos (FLS), a faction of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) gang. However, the case against him collapsed when prosecutors declared they did not have the witnesses to make the case.

InSight Crime Analysis

Cisneros is one of the most notorious and singular figures in the world of Salvadoran organized crime, and his release is a serious setback to attempts to combat both the MS13, and drugs and arms trafficking organizations.

While he is often identified as a leading figure in the MS13, the evidence against Cisneros suggests he is more of a connection between the gang and other underworld players, including the drug transport and money-laundering group the Texis Cartel. One of his main roles with the MS13 appears to have been as an arms dealer, although he also has the reputation of being a trusted ally of the FLS hierarchy.

Cisneros is also one of six MS13 linked men to be placed on the US Treasury's Specially Designated Nationals List, which describes him as a major drug trafficker.

SEE ALSO: Corruption in El Salvador: Politicians, Police and Transportistas

Like many of El Salvador's most powerful criminals, Cisneros is believed to have enjoyed the protection of corrupt contacts in the security forces, helping him to evade capture on a number of occasions until 2012.

However, as has proven the case numerous times in El Salvador, capturing such underworld kingpins is only half the battle, and the impunity they enjoy often extends into the judicial process.

Although the precise details of the collapse of the case against Cisneros are yet to emerge, it is worth noting one of the key witnesses in the case disappeared last year, in a worrying echo of previous accusations that he was behind the murder of a man who witnessed his crimes in the United States.

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

EL SALVADOR / 19 JUL 2012

Despite promises to expand the force, and the need to consolidate the security gains of a truce between rival gangs,…

EL SALVADOR / 23 FEB 2021

A US federal appeals court has delayed the deportation of a former MS13 member to El Salvador, ruling that his…

EL SALVADOR / 12 JAN 2018

Authorities in the United States indicted several alleged members of the MS13 gang, offering a detailed look into how…

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…