In our April 6 Facebook Live session, Senior Investigator Héctor Silva Ávalos spoke with Senior Editor Mike LaSusa about one of the biggest organized crime stories in Latin America this week: the arrest of José Adán Salazar Umaña, alias “Chepe Diablo,” the alleged leader of El Salvador’s Texis Cartel.
Silva discussed his April 5 article about the arrest of Salazar Umaña in an anti-money laundering operation that involved dozens of raids on properties linked to the Texis Cartel. He also provided an overview of the origins and history of the crime group, and its interactions with Salvadoran elites.
SEE ALSO: Texis Cartel News and Profile
In addition, Silva and LaSusa talked about the obstruction of investigations into Salazar Umaña by El Salvador’s former Attorney General Luis Martínez, and how the country’s new Attorney General Douglas Meléndez has reopened cases that have implicated other powerful figures, such as Juan Umaña Samayoa, the mayor of the northwestern town of Metapán where the Texis Cartel holds sway, and Wilfredo Guerra, the president of the Gumarsal grain company that has been linked to Chepe Diablo’s business network.
Silva and LaSusa also discussed the role that the United States has played in putting pressure on Salvadoran officials to pursue anti-corruption investigations into criminal bosses like Salazar Umaña and other suspected members of the Texis Cartel.
Other topics included the outlook for the Texis Cartel as its top leadership faces unprecedented pressure from Salvadoran authorities, as well as the remaining questions surrounding the criminal group such as its possible relationship with top officials, the country’s banking system and the drug trade.
Watch the Facebook Live broadcast for the full conversation: