Salvador President Accuses Past Govts of Sponsoring Crime

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The president of El Salvador has accused the country’s previous governments of sponsoring organized crime, and said that an internal investigation had uncovered links between the country’s military police and Mexican criminal gangs.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony for new police recruits, President Mauricio Funes said that several police officers are being investigated by the Attorney General’s Office, on suspicion of having ties to Mexican drug cartel the Zetas.

Flores also referred to the scandal of “bad elements” within the armed forces attempting to steal weapons, allegedly to sell to the Zetas, including assault rifles, grenades and explosives.

The president gave no indication as to the number of officers involved and did not reveal their identities.

While opposition leaders have called for Funes to provide proof for his accusations and have accused him of undermining confidence in the country’s armed forces, Funes has claimed that his government released the information as an exercise in transparency.

He accused past governments of failing to act against infiltration of the country’s armed forces and of covering up accusations of corruption in the military.

InSight Crime has examined the issue of Central American military weapons ending up in the hands of drug gangs.

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