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

ELITES AND CRIME / 30 SEP 2022

A number of scandals involving officials within the government have raised concerns about rising corruption in Uruguay.

ELITES AND CRIME / 10 FEB 2021

Federal prosecutors have specified in a recently filed court document that Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández has been under investigation…

BARRIO 18 / 24 MAR 2021

Though a relatively minor player in the transnational drug trade, El Salvador's overland smuggling routes have undergone a moderate revival…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Europe Coverage Makes a Splash

20 JAN 2023

Last week, InSight Crime published an analysis of the role of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport as an arrival hub for cocaine and methamphetamine from Mexico.  The article was picked up by…

THE ORGANIZATION

World Looks to InSight Crime for Mexico Expertise

13 JAN 2023

Our coverage of the arrest of Chapitos’ co-founder Ovidio Guzmán López in Mexico has received worldwide attention.In the UK, outlets including The Independent and BBC…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Shares Expertise with US State Department

16 DEC 2022

Last week, InSight Crime Co-founder Steven Dudley took part in the International Anti-Corruption Conference organized by the US State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, & Labor and…

THE ORGANIZATION

Immediate Response to US-Mexico Marijuana Investigation

9 DEC 2022

InSight Crime’s investigation into how the legalization of marijuana in many US states has changed Mexico’s criminal dynamics made a splash this week appearing on the front page of…

THE ORGANIZATION

‘Ndrangheta Investigation, Exclusive Interview With Suriname President Make Waves

2 DEC 2022

Two weeks ago, InSight Crime published an investigation into how Italian mafia clan the ‘Ndrangheta built a cocaine trafficking network from South America to ‘Ndrangheta-controlled Italian ports. The investigation generated…