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.

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 / 1 FEB 2019

The citizens of El Salvador are set to elect a new president on February 3 amid an uptick in deadly…

EL SALVADOR / 9 APR 2019

Senior officials named in a US government list of corruption suspects in Central America have all been sentenced for their…

BARRIO 18 / 18 JUL 2013

Although the El Salvador gang truce has significantly lowered the country's homicide rate, the distribution of violence has remained nearly…

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…