Central America El Salvador Organized Crime Writing

El Salvador Gang Truce Was ‘State Policy’: Trial Testimony

A trial has begun in El Salvador against several officials for their alleged illegal activity related to a controversial gang truce between 2012 to 2014. The testimony and evidence presented is poised to shed new light on the links between politicians and gangs in the Central American country.

Early testimony and public statements by several officials during the early days of the trial suggested that the truce was a “state policy” endorsed by former President Mauricio Funes. Witnesses also said that the impetus for the gang truce did not come from the gangs or civil society, but from the government itself.

Former truce mediator Bishop Fabio Colindres testified that he and Raúl Mijango, a former mediator and vocal proponent for the truce, were “invited” by Defense Minister David Munguía Payés to initiate a dialogue with imprisoned gang leaders near the end of 2011. This dialogue was an early phase of the talks that eventually led to the truce.

Colindres and former police chief Francisco Salinas both testified that they met directly with Funes on multiple separate occasions to discuss the truce. Salinas asserted that “former President Funes had full knowledge of the truce because it was a government policy.”

Read the rest of this news brief at InSight Crime.

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