Saturday, January 22

The United States “blacklisted” two Nayib Bukele officials linked to organized crime in El Salvador

Two officials from the Government of Nayib Bukele are accused of corruption and ties to organized crime.

Photo: Twitter Profiles – Noel Celis / Getty Images

The United States added to its “black list” two officials from the Government of Nayib Bukele in El Salvador, who have participated in a scheme to steal food and other acts of corruption.

The Treasury Department added to the List of Specially Designated Citizens and Blocked Persons (SDN) to Osiris Luna Meza, Deputy Minister of Justice and General Director of AdHonorem Penal Centers, and Carlos Marroquin, Director of Reconciliation of the Social Fabric.

He also joined Luna Meza’s mother, Alma Yanira Meza Olivares, who would have been part of a scheme to profit from food from a special program during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an investigation by the special prosecutor’s office created by former attorney general Raúl Melara, where even phone recordings, documents were shown officers, records of delivery controls and photos of trucks with food from La Esperanza prison.

Although the United States Government does not mention it, according to José Luis Sanz, correspondent in Washington, DC of El Faro, a medium that published the investigation in El Salvador, affirms that the accusations against the officials are also due to their negotiations with the gangs MS-13 and Barrio 18.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken highlighted the appointment of these people and 13 others from Kosovo and Serbia linked to transnational organized crime.

“The United States today imposes sanctions on 16 people and 24 entities from various countries in Europe and the Western Hemisphere,” said the secretary.

The decision, he defends, is based on Executive Order 13818 of former President Donald Trump, which takes up the Magnitsky Global Responsibility Law on Human Rights.

He also cites the US Strategy to Fight Corruption, published on December 6 by President Joe Biden.

“Transnational organized crime is destabilizing, and these groups often collude with public officials to protect themselves from prosecution and accountability,” laments Blinken. “Ltransnational criminal organizations also operate across borders … organized crime backed by corrupt actors can destabilize the rule of law, erode trust in public institutions and weaken democratic governance ”.

Bukele, who is a regular user on Twitter, has not commented on the sanctions, but the relationship with the US has a complicated history, due to the accusations against the Salvadoran government of undermining freedom of expression and attacking the media. , which has even led to recommendations from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

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