(CNN Spanish) — Two officials close to El Salvador’s President Nayeb Bugele have been charged with corruption and human rights abuses, the U.S. Treasury Department announced Friday.
They are Labor Minister Rolando Castro and Legal Secretary to the President Conan Castro.
The US Treasury Department has accused Rolando Castro of misusing public funds for his own benefit, manipulating unions for personal political purposes and favoring the Buchel government, according to a report by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). , published in El Salvador by the US Embassy in the Central American country.
Castro used his Twitter account To challenge the decision. “Department of the Treasury without jurisdiction over labor matters and states that permission to issue certificates or not.”
After sanctions, the Treasury Department can freeze assets if they are in US territory, as well as ban those sanctioned and their close relatives from entering the North American country. The decision is supported by the Magnitsky Act, which authorizes the cancellation of visas for foreigners linked to cases of corruption and human rights abuses.
“To the people of the United States, my respect and admiration. I say to your government, freeze my bank accounts in your country, I give you the power,” Castro added in his message.
In the case of Conan Castro, the president’s legal secretary, US officials pointed to him as obstructing investigations into the mismanagement of public funds the government used to respond to the Covid-19 emergency. After the sanctions were released, Castro did not speak. CNN is awaiting a response to a request for comment from Castro and the government through the Communications Secretariat of the El Salvador Presidency.
In December 2021, the United States government sanctioned other officials allegedly linked to corrupt practices, including Bugel’s chief of staff, Carolina Recinos.
“It is clear that the US government does not accept cooperation, friendship or alliance. It is total submission or nothing. These daily accusations are ridiculous. Their only interest is to set a ‘bad example’,” Bukhel wrote on his Twitter account.