HomeNewsBriefEl Salvador Military Officer Sentenced for Arms Trafficking
BRIEF

El Salvador Military Officer Sentenced for Arms Trafficking

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 9 AUG 2011 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

A former officer in El Salvador's Special Forces was sentenced to 31 years in prison after attempting to sell weapons to an undercover agent posing as a member of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia - FARC).

The U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia found Hector Antonio Martinez Guillen guilty of arms and explosives trafficking, charges which carry a minimum sentence of 30 years.

Martinez pleaded guilty earlier this year after being arrested following a sting operation carried out by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The retired military officer sold the weapons and explosives in January 2010 to an undercover DEA agent who posed as a member of the FARC, the left-wing Colombian guerrilla group. He was subsequently arrested in Washington D.C. in November 2010, while attempting to smuggle a 20-kilo load of cocaine into the country on behalf of the FARC. 

In late May, authorities in El Salvador arrested six members of the military charged with attempting to sell over 1,800 hand grenades to criminal gangs. That month, another former army lieutenant for trying to sell three M-16 machine guns. Similarly to neighboring Guatemala and Honduras, El Salvador has huge stockpiles of military weapons, a legacy of a series of civil conflicts.

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 / 28 MAY 2018

Ernesto Deras cannot explain why he got up from his seat, approached the front of a church in the Panorama…

CONTRABAND / 23 SEP 2013

El Salvador's customs authority has classified 152 of the country's freight companies as presenting either a "high" or "medium" level…

CHEPE LUNA / 10 JUL 2014

Drug trafficker-turned-transport tycoon "Chepe Luna," shot dead in Honduras last month, will be survived by his web of corruption, with an…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…