The arrested five former FMLN officers were produced in court and charged with three counts.

The preliminary hearing took place on Tuesday, July 27 at 8:00 am outside the Isitro Menandes Judicial Center, protesting against the arrest of FMLN members and their militants.

The Attorney General’s Office (FGR) this Sunday issued a financial restraining order against 10 former officials of the government of former President Mauricio Funes (2009-2014). They were charged with money and property fraud, and illegal enrichment.

The initial hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, July 27 at 8:00 p.m.

“All of these people are accused of illegal enrichment and money and property fraud,” the attorney in the case said when he filed the claim in San Salvador’s 2nd Peace Court. “The trial period is similar to the period during which Mr. Carlos Mauricio Funes held different public positions during his presidency of Cartagena,” he added.

Violeta Menzover, Hugo Flores Hidalgo (center) and Erlinda Handal are guarded by police shortly before arriving at the Second Peace Court in San Salvador. Photo EDH / Menly Cortes

The public prosecutor confirmed that one of the key findings they maintain in the indictment is that former officers received monthly cash and cash from the private secretariat of the government’s presidential secretariat without being included in their nominal salary. “This amount was obtained outside the law,” the attorney in the case said.

Pictures: This is how they transferred former FMLN officers to court

For his part, Jose Emilio Gonzஸ்lez Castro, Violeta Menzovவரின்r’s chief prosecutor and legal officer of the captured former officers, said he was waiting for a full review to determine the three charges imposed by the prosecutor’s office. The party speaks in every case of accusation.

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“We do not know how many pages are in demand. We know there are five boxes,” said Gonzalez Castro, who said he would seek alternative action due to Violeta Menzovar’s health, without determining the details.

It was learned that the former health minister would be represented by four lawyers.

Among the accused were Violetta Menzver, Carlos Cozares, Erlinda Handal, Calicsto Mejia and Hugo Flores Hidalgo who were sent to the Isitro Menendez Judicial Center under strong security measures.

Erlinda Handal and Violeta Menzver at the time of transfer to court. Photo EDH / Lissette Lemus

Outside the courts, members of the FMLN and its militancy opposed the arrest. FMLN figures Anabel Beloso, leaders Lorena Pena, Nidia Diaz, Shafiq Handel, Karina Sosa, Yanzi Arbina and Oscar Artis joined the struggle.

Annabelle Beloso, the current FMLN vice-president in the legislature, called the detention of former officers “a snatch of freedom” and declared that “we have retreated on the basis of law, institutionalism and above all the democratic process.” Moreover, he described the government of Naib Bukel as a dictatorship.

Lorena Pena also came with five defendants and asked that “political harassment” be stopped. Photo EDH / Lissette Monterrosa

Last Thursday, he argued that the actions taken by the former FMLN officers were unprecedented in the previous 30 years and that they were carried out outside the framework of the law. “They are political prisoners and political prisoners,” Belloso denounced and demanded their release.

The deputy also ruled with zero confidence in the companies investigating the case and said they could not develop a proper process if they were under the order of the executive.

Nidia Thias, a former deputy and signatory to the peace agreements, said the arrests were part of an effort to remove the democratic base that had agreed to sign the peace agreement. “This is a setback because it goes beyond the institutional, legal, constitutional and fundamental rights of the people,” Thias said outside the Justice Center.

The FMLN historical leader said that anyone who thinks or thinks differently than government officials has a hidden interest in becoming an adversary and being persecuted by institutions controlled by the ruling party.

“This cannot be allowed in the country. We have created an independent organization, we have created an organization where rights should prevail and now we see them all being removed,” Thias said.

Ephemelanistas Nidia Thias and Shafiq Handal also took part in the protests. Photo EDH / Lissette Monterrosa

Humberto Seans, the leader of Axion Ciudadana, pointed to his role in the arrest of former FMLN officers, saying that state officials had committed acts of contempt and that the principle of being considered innocent was not respected.

Sean made it clear that “justice must be sought, not public ridicule” and that “what is to be sought is no doubt justice, but justice does not imply acts that demean the people, and that the authorities have given themselves to those destructive acts that send a negative message and do not respect the principle of presuming innocence.” .

Similarly, the Law Enforcement Research Institute (Facebook), in a statement, described the arrest of former officers as “abuse of power”.

In that sense, he said, these arrests in the context of the 70s and 80s of the last century stopped El Salvador, “respect for civil rights was far less than an aspiration.”

The indictment was filed in the Second Peace Court in San Salvador against former officers and members of the FMLN, a party that ousted Naib Bukhele.

Oscar Artis during the fight. Photo EDH / Lissette Monterrosa

Also: Humberto Scenes: Process against former FMLN executives “persecution rather than will for justice”

Defendants were caught in the “Operation Fraud” framework carried out by the Attorney General’s Office and the police, in which arrest warrants were issued for former Public Works Minister Gerson Martinez and former Environment Minister Lina Pol. , And former Vice President and former President of the country Salvador Sanchez Seron.

The arrests are the result of an investigation launched in 2019 into the Mauricio Funes case, which was allegedly linked to illegal enrichment by extorting up to $ 350 million from public funds, according to the attorney general imposed by the ruling party Rodolbo Delcado. He is currently a fugitive and asylum seeker under the rule of Daniel Ortega.

The prosecutor’s office promises that Violeta Menzover will receive 177,000 thousand; Carlos Cozares $ 210 thousand; Calixto Magia 8 208 thousand; $ 177 thousand as Lina; Jose Guillermo Lopez Suarez $ 565 thousand; Hugo Flores $ 174 thousand; $ 162 thousand by Erlinda Hunt; Gerson Martinez 0 290 thousand and; Salvador Sanchez Seron 30 530 thousand; All bonuses considered.

Eden Hayes

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