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News > El Salvador

US Targets Salvadorean Officials for Pacts With Gangs

  • U.S authorities imposed sanctions on Chief of the Salvadoran Penal System on Wednesday.

    U.S authorities imposed sanctions on Chief of the Salvadoran Penal System on Wednesday. | Photo: Twiter/@NapoleonCampus

Published 10 December 2021
Opinion

U.S authorities imposed sanctions on Osiris Luna Meza, chief of the Salvadoran Penal System and Vice Minister of Justice and Public Security under the charges of negotiating a secret truce with gangs.

Authorities from the U.S government have been preparing criminal charges, accusing Osiris Luna Meza, chief of the Salvadorean Penal System and Vice Minister of Justice and Public Security from negotiating a secret truce with gangs, raising tensions between President Nayib Bukele's and Washington, sources assert.

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According to the source close to Reuters, the charges will be brought forward by the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Osiris Luna Meza and Carlos Marroquin, head of a Salvadorean government social welfare agency.   

U.S authorities imposed on Wednesday sanctions on Luna and Marroquin, accusing them of having deals with the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and Barrio 18 gangs, seeking in exchange the reduction of the violence in El Sarlvador, easier prison conditions, and political backing in return for money.

President Bukele denied several time the accusations and denounced the sanctions imposed, putting Bukele and Washington's relationship on even tougher terrain.

"According to these sources, the accusations are being prepared by a working group of the Department of Justice (DOJ) although they have not yet determined what are the exact charges of which they will be accused."

"It's clear that the United States' government does not accept collaboration, friendship or alliances," declared Bukele, calling the accusations absurd.

In 2012, Bukele himself made harsh criticisms about the negotiations between the former government and the gang leaders, which fell through in 2014.

After this took place, there was a considerable increase of murders in the country and several government officials were arrested for implications in the incidents.

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