HomeNewsBrief3 Former El Salvador Presidents Investigated for Corruption
BRIEF

3 Former El Salvador Presidents Investigated for Corruption

EL SALVADOR / 12 FEB 2016 BY ARRON DAUGHERTY EN

El Salvador's past three presidents have now been accused of corruption, a possible sign the Supreme Court is ready to take on the nation's highest political office. 

Former El Salvador President Mauricio Funes (2009-2014) is likely to face three separate investigations into his assets, including a money laundering case, an unnamed source close to the Supreme Court told Diario Latino

Funes is already embroiled in an illicit enrichment case and has had certain assets frozen, including four bank accounts, El Faro reported. Accusations against the former president revolve around his inability to account for millions of dollars in personal income and assets. Funes has maintained his innocence and claimed he is being persecuted by his political rivals. 

Meanwhile the Supreme Court has informed Funes' predecessor, Elías Antonio Saca (2004-2009), that he must account for over $6 million in personal income, according to a separate Diario Latino report. Saca's financial records show a personal gain of over $13 million during his presidential term, much of which Saca has labeled simply as "other activities and investments," the report added. 

Saca was accused of money laundering in 2013, and a US Embassy cable divulged on WikiLeaks went so far as to say his corruption "went beyond the pale," which earned him criticism even from members of his own conservative party ARENA. 

InSight Crime Analysis

In addition to Funes and Saca, deceased former President Francisco Flores (1999-2004) was also entangled in corruption cases. This means El Salvador's last three presidential administrations, which span 15 years, have been marred by corruption allegations.

While this is a worrying indication of how rampant and systemic corruption has become at the highest levels of government in El Salvador, there is a silver lining. El Salvador's Supreme Court may be starting to crack down on these powerful political figures. 

Flores was accused of embezzling $15 million dollars donated by Taiwan to help victims of a devastating 2001 earthquake. The former president was eventually ordered to stand trial in December 2015, but died of a brain hemorrhage the following month. 

SEE ALSO: Coverage of Elites and Organized Crime 

Although Salvadoran authorities can no longer prosecute Flores, the Supreme Court seems prepared to go after Funes and Saca, based on the speed with which investigations are proceeding against Funes.  

The Supreme Court is likely aware of how the United Nations-backed anti-impunity body CICIG's high-profile victories against corruption in neighboring Guatemala have sparked calls for similar interventions in El Salvador and Honduras. A strong effort now on the part of Salvadoran authorities to investigate corruption cases could be a way of demonstrating their willingness and ability to handle matters without outside interference.

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

ARMS TRAFFICKING / 8 JUL 2022

Haiti’s Customs Agency has seized an extremely large quantity of illegally imported ammunition.

ECUADOR / 19 AUG 2022

Two subjects on a motorcycle attacked prosecutor Federico Estrella outside his home in Babahoyo, Los Ríos, on August 15. Estrella…

BRAZIL / 4 MAR 2022

An alleged deal between government officials and illegal miners in Brazil’s Amazon led to the latter being provided with weapons…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…