HomeNewsBriefNew Investigations Target El Salvador Ex-President's Cousin
BRIEF

New Investigations Target El Salvador Ex-President's Cousin

EL SALVADOR / 4 MAY 2017 BY LEONARDO GOI EN

Authorities in El Salvador are investigating the cousin of an incarcerated former president, another sign that the Central American country may be deepening its drive to root out elite corruption.

Herbert Ernesto Saca Vides has been placed under investigation by the Salvadoran Attorney General's Office in connection with a case against his cousin and former President Antonio "Tony" Saca, reported Factum.

Herbert served as Tony's political advisor during his 2004 to 2009 term in office, a role he eventually resumed under the jailed ex-president's successor, Mauricio Funes.

Tony Saca was arrested in October 2016 on corruption-related charges. Together with other associates, the former president has been accused of embezzling over $240 million of public funds.

Between February 1 and February 24, 2017, El Salvador's Attorney General's Office asked the Supreme Court to issue twelve judicial requests to foreign countries in order to obtain more evidence on former President Saca's case. In eight of these, the Attorney General requested official information on his cousin Herbert, Factum reported.

This is not the first time Herbert Saca has come under the authorities' spotlight. Shortly after his cousin's arrest in October 2016, police forces searched some of Herbert's companies, including a car dealership allegedly implicated in illicit sales to former members of the ex-president's administration.

InSight Crime Analysis

The decision to investigate Herbert Saca provides additional evidence that El Salvador's fight against corrupt elites might be getting more aggressive.

The move follows the arrest of José Adán Salazar Umaña, alias "Chepe Diablo," the alleged leader of the Texis Cartel who is suspected of having ties to numerous Salvadoran elites, including current Vice President Óscar Ortiz. In addition, an InSight Crime investigation found evidence to suggest that former Attorney General Luis Martínez had obstructed efforts to investigate and prosecute Chepe Diablo and his associates.

According to well-informed sources, the same may have been the case in probes of Herbert Saca that took place under Martínez.

"It is no secret that Herbert Saca was protected by Martínez, and that the Attorney General's Office deliberately avoided investigating the evidence provided by the police," Factum journalist César Fagoaga told InSight Crime.

Martínez was arrested in August 2016 on judicial corruption charges. Current Attorney General Douglas Meléndez took office in January 2016, and has appeared intent on reopening investigations seemingly stymied by his predecessor.

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Elites and Organized Crime

Previous reporting by InSight Crime suggests that Herbert Saca was a crucial link between El Salvador's elites and the country's underworld. He has been tied to various people and groups under investigation by authorities, and his name has been connected to two major drug trafficking groups, the Perrones and the Texis Cartel.

Admittedly, as far as Factum was told, the Attorney General has placed Herbert Saca under investigation for money laundering, and not for alleged links with organized crime. Still, the opening of the investigation is a sign that El Salvador's anti-corruption drive may be expanding, though due to weaknesses in the country's judicial system, its ultimate impact remains unclear.

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 / 3 MAY 2021

The decision by legislators aligned with El Salvador's President Nayib Bukele to oust the country’s top prosecutor may spell the…

ARGENTINA / 1 FEB 2022

In 2021, most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean experienced a marked increase in murders. Resurgent violence was to…

COLOMBIA / 15 JUL 2021

A convicted cocaine trafficker is among the suspects that authorities in Haiti are pursuing in connection to the middle-of-the-night murder…

About InSight Crime

WORK WITH US

Open Position: Full Stack WordPress Developer

28 NOV 2022

As Full Stack WordPress Developer You Will: Work collaboratively with other developers and designers to maintain and improve organizational standards.Demonstrate a high level of attention to detail, and implement best…

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…