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Former Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes (2009-2014) was sentenced on Monday by a criminal court in El Salvador to 14 years in prison for crimes committed during his administration, having facilitated a truce with gangs.
The Attorney General's Office (FGR) also reported via Twitter that "David Munguía Payés, former Minister of Justice and Security, has received an 18-year prison sentence."
The 63-year-old former Salvadoran president who currently lives in exile in Nicaragua and with Nicaraguan citizenship was tried in absentia due to a legal reform that allows it.
Funes received 8 years for the charge of illicit groups and 6 years for breach of duties, said the Prosecutor's Office, while noting that the sentences and charges were the same for retired general Munguía Payés, who also received 4 years in prison for arbitrary acts.
#ÚltimaHora I El expresidente Mauricio Funes ha sido condenado a 14 años de cárcel y David Munguía Payés, exministro de Justicia y Seguridad, ha recibido una pena de 18 años en prisión.
— Fiscalía General de la República El Salvador (@FGR_SV)
May 29, 2023
Former President Mauricio Funes has been sentenced to 14 years in prison and David Munguía Payés, former Minister of Justice and Security, has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. The Attorney General's Office presented abundant evidence demonstrating the guilt of the former officials.
Between 2012 and 2014, the Funes administration backed an armistice maintained by the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) and Barrio 18 gangs, among others, with the aim of reducing the number of homicides.
"Former officials allowed the gangs to strengthen themselves economically and in the territory, in exchange for reducing the homicide rate between 2011 and 2013, in order to benefit the government in power and favor it in the elections," the FGR said.
According to the Attorney General's Office, the truce stipulated favors for these gangs that included prison benefits for imprisoned leaders, public investment in communities under their control, and a reduced presence of security forces in gang-dominated neighborhoods.