Over 1,600 Police Investigated for Misconduct in El Salvador

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Authorities in El Salvador say they are pushing through with a police clean-up which has seen hundreds of officers sanctioned or removed from duty.

According to the national police director, the approximate 1,600 investigations against police transgressions, resulted in some 90 officers being discharged from the force. Another 650 have been sanctioned by the police internal affairs department, according to Prensa Grafica.

El Salvador has recently been gripped by a series of cases apparently involving police corruption. Two massacres, carried out on October 31 and November 14, were committed by gunmen wearing police uniforms, according to witnesses.

In another case, three police and one military official were arrested November 1o, accused of working with a gang that stole over $600,000 worth of aluminum wire.

Counting the 90 police that have been fired this year, at least 350 officers have been discharged for committing crimes since President Mauricio Funes assumed office in 2009, the national director of police internal affairs said.

President Funes has previously signaled that the purge of corrupt officials from the police force is a top priority for his administration.

Several El Salvador police officials are reportedly under investigation for participating in the killing of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) informant in 2009.

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