HomeNewsBriefSalvadoran Ex-Colonel Charged with Illegal Gun Sales
BRIEF

Salvadoran Ex-Colonel Charged with Illegal Gun Sales

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 1 OCT 2012 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

Salvadoran prosecutors have accused a retired army coronel once in charge of its weapons stockpile of illegally selling arms, the latest such charge against the country’s military.

An investigation by the Prosecutor General's organized crime unit found that retired Colonel Alberto Gonzalez Quezada sold two semi-automatic rifles to people who did not meet legal requirements to own them.

Gonzalez served as head of El Salvador's military's Logistics Division in 2010 before retiring after 30 years service in the army, Prensa Grafica reported. The Logistics Division is responsible for storing the army's weapons, and arms seized by the national police.

The US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) found that the guns' original serial numbers had been erased and painted over, according to El Diario de Hoy. El Salvador's police analysis revealed that one rifle contained a piece from a gun that had been seized during a police rescue of kidnapping victims in 2001.

InSight Crime Analysis

The case of the colonel forms part of a larger pattern of elements in the Salvadoran military allegedly selling weapons, sometimes to drug trafficking organizations. Last year, a former lieutenant was accused of trying to sell machine guns and other military equipment to an alleged member of the Zetas. Eight soldiers and one civilian were charged in April this year with being part of a network that siphoned off weapons that were meant to be destroyed, selling them on to drug trafficking groups in Guatemala and Honduras. Six of the soldiers had been arrested a year earlier for allegedly attempting to sell 1,800 hand grenades to criminal groups.

The arrest of Gonzalez, a colonel who served as head of the division that stored weapons, indicates just how high these weapons trafficking networks may reach in the armed forces.

Guatemala and Honduran army officials have also been accused of selling arms to drug traffickers; some experts estimate that Central America’s militaries supply more arms to Mexican drug cartels than gun stores in the United States. The region still has a huge stockpile of military weapons after decades 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

BARRIO 18 / 24 JAN 2019

The homicide rate in El Salvador has spiked after authorities in the Central American nation saw a substantial reduction in…

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 31 AUG 2012

A Mexico judge has reduced the charges against an American trucker accused of smuggling a truck full of rifle ammunition…

EL SALVADOR / 5 NOV 2013

El Salvador authorities knew 15 top police officials had allegedly used false qualifications to move up to career ladder but…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution Met With Uproar

6 MAY 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime launched its latest investigation, Venezuela’s Cocaine Revolution¸ accompanied by a virtual panel on its findings. The takeaways from this three-year effort, including the fact that Venezuela…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela Drug Trafficking Investigation and InDepth Gender Coverage

29 APR 2022

On May 4, InSight Crime will be publishing The Cocaine Revolution in Venezuela, a groundbreaking investigation into how the Venezuelan government regulates the cocaine trade in the country. An accompanying event,…

THE ORGANIZATION

InDepth Coverage of Juan Orlando Hernández

22 APR 2022

Ever since Juan Orlando Hernández was elected president of Honduras in 2014, InSight Crime has provided coverage of every twist and turn during his rollercoaster time in office, amid growing…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela's Cocaine Revolution

15 APR 2022

On May 4th, InSight Crime will publish a groundbreaking investigation on drug trafficking in Venezuela. A product of three years of field research across the country, the study uncovers cocaine production in…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Widespread Coverage of InSight Crime MS13 Investigation

8 APR 2022

In a joint investigation with La Prensa Gráfica, InSight Crime recently revealed that four of the MS13’s foremost leaders had been quietly released from…