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News > El Salvador

El Salvador: Alleged Involved In Cuscatlán Stampede Arrested

  • Twelve people were killed and 100 injured in the May 20 stampede. May. 25, 2023.

    Twelve people were killed and 100 injured in the May 20 stampede. May. 25, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@8DeportivoTN8

Published 25 May 2023

The detainees are charged with manslaughter, culpable injury, and public damage.

El Salvador's Public Prosecutor's Office (FGR) announced the arrest of five people accused of being responsible for a stampede at the Cuscatlán soccer stadium in the capital. Twelve people died, and a hundred were injured on May 20.

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Those arrested early Thursday morning are the president of the local Alianza Fútbol Club team, Pedro Hernández, the team's security manager, Edwin Abarca Ventura, the club's financial director, Zoila Córdova, as well as Reynaldo Avelar Contreras, general manager of Sports Stadiums of El Salvador (EDESSA) and Samuel García Montano, who was in charge of the stadium keys.

They are accused of manslaughter, culpable injury, and public damage. According to the FGR, "the organizers, having exhausted the available tickets for the sporting event, decided to illegally sell tickets issued for previous matches."

"Negligence in the organization and greed, due to overbooking, generated a human avalanche that caused the loss of lives, as well as injuries, and endangered the safety of the attendees. In the next few days they will be brought before the courts," the Prosecutor's Office added. 

After carrying out the investigative procedures, it has been possible to identify those responsible for the tragedy that occurred in the Cuscatlán Stadium.

Investigations indicate that in addition to the overbooking of tickets, the entrance of the attendees did not occur with sufficient time in advance for an orderly and safe entry, and the gates enabled were not sufficient for the number of fans that were in the place.

The Salvadoran Soccer Federation closed the 2023 Clausura Tournament, which was in its quarterfinal phase. It also fined Alianza FC $30,000 and determined that it will play without fans for a year.

The Federation said in a statement that its priority is to reinforce security measures at soccer events in order to guarantee the safety of people at matches.

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