El Salvador’s Attorney General’s Office has ordered the arrest of former President Sanchez Serene
Prosecutor’s Office El Salvador has issued an arrest warrant for former President Salvador Sanchez Ceren (2014-2019) for his alleged involvement in the embezzlement of $351 million while he was deputy prime minister of his predecessor’s government, Mauricio Funes.This Thursday, the public prosecutor, Rodolfo Delgado, reported.
“Later we will request the red broadcast so that the INTERPOL tracking and search mechanisms are activated”Delgado has been added.
According to the prosecutor, Sanchez Ceren allegedly received an irregular payment of $530,000 from state funds outside of his scheduled salary.
Thus, Sanchez Serene becomes the fourth former president of the Salvadoran democratic era requested by the Attorney General’s Office On corruption charges, including Funes.
Prosecutors also ordered the arrests of Jose Guillermo López Juárez, the former head of the Ports Executive Committee (CEPA), and former Ministers of Public Works and Environment, Gerson Martinez and Lina Paul, respectively.
All of them are former officials of the Funes government (2009-2014), and, according to the Prosecutor General’s Office, they are outside the country.
According to the attorney general, these people, along with five former officials who were arrested Thursday afternoon, “embezzled” with Funes more than $351 million.
“The Public Prosecutor’s Office has completed the investigation of a number of former officials in the administration of former President Mauricio Funes, all of them contributed to the embezzlement of 351 million from the state.” Delgado said at a press conference.
According to an investigation by the attorney general’s office, the former officials received payments ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 “excluding their salaries.”
Previous officials introduced to the press are former Finance and Health Ministers Carlos Caceres and Violeta Menjivar, respectively.
In addition, former Deputy Ministers Hugo Flores and Ireland Handal, and former Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) MP Calixto Mejia (2014-2017) were also arrested.
All people are accused of money laundering and illicit enrichment.
The Public Prosecutor indicated that the investigation called “public plunder” came from the investigation against Funes in millionaire embezzlement.
Funes has been living in Nicaragua since 2016 and in 2017 he was granted citizenship of that Central American country, whose constitution prohibits the extradition of its citizens.
According to Delgado, the Funes Legislative Assembly approved $80.8 million in funds for reserved or confidential expenses during his five years in office, but “in the end, there was $351 million that the Treasury transferred without the assembly’s approval.”
“It is not about political persecution, it is the persecution of thieves who hide behind their political discourses, in the positions they once held, in their historical past and in the supposed re-defense of the rights of Salvadorans and did not hesitate to do so. They betray the State of El Salvador,” Plaintiff added.
The five former officials arrested today are in the cells of the Central Investigation Department of the National Civil Police in San Salvador.
(With information from EFE)