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BRIEF

El Salvador to Investigate Texis Cartel

EL SALVADOR / 19 MAY 2011 BY PATRICK CORCORAN EN

El Salvador's Supreme Court announced it will open an investigation into the Texis Cartel, following the publication of a report by newspaper El Faro.

The country's president, Mauricio Funes, also acknowledged that the evidence against the drug trafficking organization seems sufficient to initiate an investigation by federal prosecutors.

Funes said, "It’s an investigation that, if it ultimately produces sufficient evidence for a trial, as it would seem to, it will have to be the attorney general that opens the case in a judicial tribunal," reports El Faro.

The investigation that provoked Funes’ comments detailed the cartel's control over a northern cocaine smuggling route known as El Caminito. According to the investigation, the drug trafficking organization was founded by three public figures with connections to El Salvador's political and business class. Authorities have reportedly been aware of the suspicions surrounding the men for years. The report alleges that the group have relied on their connections in the criminal justice system for protection.

Neither Funes nor the subdirector of investigations of the National Civil Police, Howard Cotto, offered an explanation of why work to build a criminal case against the members of the cartel had not already begun.

Funes pointed out that the Texis Cartel has allegedly existed for more than ten years, and that there had been no prosecution of the group’s alleged leaders under the previous government.

Read InSight's report and partial translation of El Faro's investigation here.

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