US sanctions El Salvador officials accused of negotiating with gangs

6 months ago 123

(CNN)The US connected Wednesday imposed sanctions on 2 El Salvador authorities officials accused of negotiating with notorious section gangs successful an effort to seal a concealed "truce" and enactment up governmental support.

According to a statement by the US Treasury Department, the officials -- Osiris Luna, main of the Salvadoran Penal System and vice curate of justness and nationalist security, and Carlos Marroquin, president of the societal cloth reconstruction portion -- organized covert meetings with elder incarcerated members of the gangs MS-13 and Barrio 18. The Salvadoran transgression pack MS-13 has been described by the US authorities arsenic a "transnational threat."

Over the people of negotiations, pack leaders agreed to supply governmental enactment to the ruling Nuevas Ideas enactment successful upcoming elections, the US connection alleges. It points retired that Nuevas Ideas won a two-thirds ace bulk successful 2021's legislative elections.

    The connection besides accuses Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele's medication successful 2020 of providing fiscal incentives to MS-13 and Barrio 18 to "ensure that incidents of pack unit and the fig of confirmed homicides remained low" and of offering mobile phones and prostitutes to incarcerated pack leaders.

      Gangs successful  El Salvador are utilizing women's bodies for 'revenge and control'

      Bukele connected Wednesday vigorously denied his medication was negotiating with gangs. He wrote connected Twitter that allegations of the authorities supplying compartment phones, prostitutes and wealth to gangs were an "obvious lie."

      According to the US, Luna besides participated successful a backstage corruption scheme. When the pandemic deed El Salvador, Luna and his mother, Alma Meza, headed a strategy to bargain and re-sell staple goods that were intended for the government's Covid-19 alleviation fund, the US connection alleges.

      Instead, "these items were transferred to backstage companies and past resold connected the backstage marketplace oregon backmost to the government," the US study said, adding that parent Meza "acted arsenic negotiator successful immoderate of these transactions."

      Marroquin, Luna and his parent Meza person not commented connected the accusations, and determination is nary transgression complaint against them.

      CNN has reached retired to each 3 for comment, but had not received a effect astatine clip of publishing.

      As portion of the sanctions, the US Treasury Department volition artifact each properties and interests of the officials and of Alma Meza successful the US.

      After an probe by online paper El Faro successful 2020 besides suggested that Bukele's authorities had a pact with the MS-13 pack to trim the fig of murders successful speech for benefits, the president besides criticized that investigation, saying connected Twitter that pack members were not fixed privileges.

      CNN has not been capable to independently verify the accusation successful the US Treasury Department report.

      On Thursday, the Treasury besides added to its sanctions database different high-ranking Salvadoran authoritative -- Martha Carolina Recinos de Bernal, main of furniture to President Nayib Bukele -- accusing her of overseeing "a aggregate ministry, multi-million dollar corruption strategy involving suspicious pandemic-related purchases."

        The bureau of the presidency did not respond to CNN's petition for remark successful respect to Recinos de Bernal, either. But Bukele himself tweeted connected Thursday that "these regular accusations look absurd."

        "It is wide that the United States Government does not judge collaboration, relationship oregon alliance. It is implicit submission, oregon nothing," Bukele wrote.

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