HomeNewsBriefEl Salvador to Create New Money Laundering Police Unit
BRIEF

El Salvador to Create New Money Laundering Police Unit

EL SALVADOR / 15 SEP 2013 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

El Salvador's government has approved the creation of a police unit to combat financial crimes, a welcome move in one the region's most attractive money laundering locations, but one unlikely to see results unless coupled with serious attempts to tackle corruption.

Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes signed a decree creating a Financial Crimes Division of the national police, which will target money laundering operations and funds linked to drug trafficking, according to a government press release.

The same decree will separate the administrative and operative departments of the police, with the goal of increasing the body's efficiency.

Funes also plans to send a bill to the Legislative Assembly in coming days which, if approved, will serve to regulate the use of funds seized from criminals, allocating some of this money to the budget of the Security and Justice Ministry, reported La Pagina.

InSight Crime Analysis

According to the US government, El Salvador's dollarized economy and location in the middle of the cocaine trail leading from South America to the United States make it an ideal money laundering spot for transnational drug traffickers and other criminal groups.

Drug trafficking groups like the Texis Cartel have until recently operated in the country with relative impunity, and Salvadoran police have said the money laundering structures of this group are a more important target than the drugs themselves.

The country already has an investigative money laundering unit attached to the Public Ministry, but the unit has been largely ineffective, with just four sentences handed down to money launderers between 2010 and 2013 -- the lowest number in Central America, along with Costa Rica.

In this context, the creation of a financial crimes police unit could be an important step in combating money laundering. However, the unit will likely face an uphill battle, as to be successful it will have to target official corruption. The case of drug transporter Jorge Ulloa Sibrian, alias "Repollo," captured in March, highlighted the ties between the state and drug traffickers in El Salvador and officials' willingness to ignore these links.

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

CACHIROS / 28 JUL 2017

One of Honduras' most powerful and politically-connected business tycoons, Yani Rosenthal, has pleaded guilty to a money laundering charge…

ELITES AND CRIME / 19 JUN 2018

Panama is seeking to clean up its image as a financial crimes haven by passing new regulations but the process…

BARRIO 18 / 9 JUL 2013

Surveillance carried out by US authorities shows the MS-13 and Barrio 18 street gangs in Central America are in constant…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Combating Environmental Crime in Colombia

15 JUN 2021

InSight Crime presented findings from an investigation into the main criminal activities fueling environmental destruction in Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Collaborating on Citizen Security Initiatives

8 JUN 2021

Co-director Steven Dudley worked with Chemonics, a DC-based development firm, to analyze the organization’s citizen security programs in Mexico.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Deepens Its Connections with Universities

31 MAY 2021

A partnership with the University for Peace will complement InSight Crime’s research methodology and expertise on Costa Rica.

THE ORGANIZATION

With Support from USAID, InSight Crime Will Investigate Organized Crime in Haiti

31 MAY 2021

The project will seek to map out Haiti's principal criminal economies, profile the specific groups and actors, and detail their links to elements of the state.

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.