Trial Begins in El Salvador for ex-President Mario Funes

Mauricio Funes, former president of El Salvador. Photo: EFE

By EFE / Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – A criminal court in El Salvador began a trial on Tuesday May 14th against former president Mauricio Funes (2009-2014) on charges of corruption, as reported by the Attorney General’s Office.

“Due to the amount of documentary, testimonial, and expert evidence we have, this (hearing) could last between one and two weeks,” said a representative of the Attorney General’s Office in a video broadcast on X, without identifying themselves.

She detailed that this case is related “to the illicit negotiations that took place in relation to the construction of a bridge in El Salvador” and that it involves the alleged delivery of an airplane.

The prosecutor’s office indicated that Funes “is accused of engaging in illicit negotiations in the construction of a bridge in Chalatenango, between 2012 and 2014, accepting an airplane as a bribe.”

Funes protected by Ortega

Funes, who governed the country between 2009 and 2014 under the banner of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), has been living in Nicaragua since 2016 and received citizenship from the Ortega government.

In May 2022, Funes was sentenced in absentia to 14 years in prison for crimes committed in the context of a truce between gangs during his government, while in July 2023 he received another conviction of 6 years in prison for the crime of tax fraud.

The former journalist has also been convicted in civil matters and has other criminal cases open for accusations of embezzlement of more than 351 million in state funds and acts of corruption in the construction of a dam.

The corruption cases attributed to Funes and former president Salvador Sanchez Ceren (2014-2019), also from the FMLN, have led to the decline of this political party and currently they do not have any representation in Congress, nor do they govern any of the 262 districts in the country.

Read more from Nicaragua here on Havana Times.