Former Salvadoran president sentenced in absentia for having made a pact with the Maras

Former Salvadoran president Mauricio Funes (left), in exile in Nicaragua, was sentenced in absentia by a San Salvador court on Monday, May 30, to fourteen years in prison for negotiating a truce with the maras, the criminal gangs that ruled in terror in his country.

The truce went into effect in 2012 and received the support of the Organization of American States (OAS) which brought it “guarantor”. It only lasted from a few months to just over a year, according to sources. This former head of state was sentenced to eight years in prison for belonging to illegal groups, as well as six years deprivation of liberty for failure to perform his duties, the Salvadoran Attorney General’s Office announced on his Twitter account. .

In addition to Funes, his former Minister of Justice and Security, David Munguia Payes, was sentenced to eighteen years’ imprisonment (eight years for belonging to illegal groups, six years for failing to fulfill his duties and four years for arbitrary acts). . , according to the same source.

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69,000 maras members imprisoned

The accused “allowed criminal gangs to strengthen economically and territorially in exchange for reducing the homicide rate between 2011 and 2013 so that the current government benefits and favors him for elections”explains the Attorney General.

Mr. Funes, 63, also tried in El Salvador for corruption, found refuge in Nicaragua in 2016, which granted him citizenship in 2019, closing the door to any possibility of extradition. Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele said in March 2022 ” war “ to criminal gangs and since then your country has been under a state of emergency. Over the past fourteen months, nearly 69,000 suspected members of the maras have been arrested, without warrants, and imprisoned.

Despite criticisms by human rights NGOs and the Catholic Church of the speed of the method used, nine out of ten Salvadorans approve of it ” war “ ruthlessly against the maras.

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The world with AFP