HomeNewsBriefFormer El Salvador Congressman Linked to Drug Trafficking Network
BRIEF

Former El Salvador Congressman Linked to Drug Trafficking Network

EL SALVADOR / 10 FEB 2016 BY SAM TABORY EN

A money laundering case involving a former congressman represents a test for the ability of El Salvador's authorities to unravel the complex links between political elites and organized crime networks.

Former congressman Wilver Rivera Monge is on trial on money laundering charges alongside convicted drug trafficker Jorge Ernesto Ulloa Sibrián, alias "Repollo," and 26 other defendants suspected of hiding illicit profits connected to Ulloa Sibrián's cocaine trafficking operations, reported El Diario de Hoy

The money laundering charges were formally brought against Rivera Monge in September 2014. Prosecutors say that Rivera Monge and members of his immediate family laundered roughly $8 million US in drug profits. The allegations suggest Rivera Monge used $1 million US of these illicit profits to fund his 2012 campaign for Congress, reported La Prensa Grafica

Ulloa Sibrián was arrested in 2013 and ultimately sentenced to 77 years in prison in 2014 for his role in heading up a cocaine transport operation that spanned much of Central America, working in collaboration with the Texis Cartel and other drug trafficking cells in the region. Authorities say that Ulloa Sibrián's network was responsible for moving at least 16 tons of cocaine through Central America en route to the US. 

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Texis Cartel

Immediately after Ulloa Sibrián's arrest in 2013, El Salvador's security minister denied claims that any members of Congress had been implicated in the organized crime boss' trafficking network; a claim he later had to retract as evidence of Rivera Monge's involvement emerged. At the time of Ulloa Sibrián's arrest, Rivera Monge was already being held by authorities on suspicion of affiliation with the Texis Cartel.

InSight Crime Analysis

Rivera Monge's trial may set an important precedent for El Salvador's justice system and its ability to unravel webs of connection between powerful political elites and organized crime networks.

Ulloa Sibrián's conviction in 2014 was a rare victory against a powerful and politically well-connected drug trafficker for Salvadoran authorities. Given the size and duration of Ulloa Sibrián's operation, which dates back to 2000, there is reason to believe that he long operated with some degree of official protection

SEE ALSO:  El Salvador News and Profiles

Judges and prosecutors hesitant to bring charges against politically well-connected traffickers present systemic concerns for El Salvador's justice system.

Alleged high-level members of the Texis Cartel have proven particularly slippery in evading conviction in El Salvador's court system on charges ranging from car theft to money laundering

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

BARRIO 18 / 19 JUL 2012

Authorities in El Salvador reported the arrest of 185 suspected gang members in the greater San Salvador area, despite a truce…

EL SALVADOR / 17 APR 2018

The Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) murders people, assaults people, takes over neighborhoods ... and makes music.

BARRIO 18 / 26 AUG 2014

Imprisoned gang leaders in Honduras are receiving instructions from their counterparts in El Salvador on how to transmit coded messages,…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…