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El Salvador

Yearbook 2016

El Salvador. According to countryaah, Former President Antonio Saca (2004-09) was arrested on October 30 on his way home from his son's wedding, accused of embezzling public funds. It was the first time in the country's history that a head of state was in danger of being tried, although both Francisco Flores (president 1999-2004) and Maurício Funes (2009-14) have been subject to investigation. However, the charges against Saca were far more serious. Prosecutor Douglas Meléndez claimed that Saca, under cover, arranged payments totaling $ 246 million to private accounts belonging to close associates to him. Saca's assets, including nine private bank accounts, were already frozen in March, and the investigation against him had been ongoing since WikiLeaks published a telegram from the United States:

2016 El Salvador

President Salvador Sánchez Cerén's fight against organized crime in the form of youth gangs ("maras") continued throughout the year and intensified following the murders of eleven people in the city of San Juan Opico on March 3. The murder rate reached 23 per day during the first two months of the year, a higher death rate than during the civil war in the 1980s. A few weeks later, Sánchez announced new measures, including state of emergency in the provinces where the margins are strongest, increased police and military presence on the country's streets, and a prison reform. The government claimed that these measures led to fewer murders as early as April, while critics pointed out that it was rather the gang itself that advertised a ceasefire.

Sánchez sought congressional support for his proposed action by the opposition party Arena (Republican National Alliance), which did not, however, appear to be a reliable partner in that effort. In March, the El Faro magazine published a video from February 2014 showing how a congressman for Arena negotiates with representatives of the Mara gang MS13 and Barrio 18 on services in exchange for the gang supporting the party's election work. The video was most embarrassing for Arena, whose double standards in security issues have long been notorious.

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