{"code":"25948","sect":"El Salvador","sect_slug":"el-salvador","hits":"1086","link":"http:\/\/elfaro.net\/en\/202201\/el_salvador\/25948","link_edit":"","name":"El Salvador Attorney General Raids Offices of Anti-Corruption Prosecutors","slug":"el-salvador-attorney-general-raids-offices-of-anti-corruption-prosecutors","info":"","mtag":"Corruption","noun":{"html":"\u003Cspan class='tint-text--dark' data_href='\/user\/profile\/gcaceres'\u003E Gabriela C\u00e1ceres\u003C\/span\u003E","data":{"gabriela-caceres":{"sort":"gcaceres","slug":"gabriela-caceres","path":"gabriela_caceres","name":"Gabriela C\u00e1ceres","edge":"0","init":"0"}}},"view":"1086","pict":{"cms-image-000036907-jpg":{"feat":"0","sort":"36907","name":"cms-image-000036907.jpg","link":"http:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036907.jpg","path":"http:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036907.jpg","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000036907-jpg","text":"<p>Prison Bureau director Osiris Luna enters Zacatecoluca Prison in July 2020 to meet with incarcerated gang leaders. In August 2021, El Faro published evidence from the Attorney General's Office that senior prison officials in the Bukele administration removed logbooks and hard drives documenting their negotiations with El Salvador's three gangs amid a criminal probe. In December 2021, the U.S. Treasury blacklisted Luna and a top lieutenant, Carlos Marroqu\u00edn, for leading the talks on behalf of the Bukele administration.<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003EPrison Bureau director Osiris Luna enters Zacatecoluca Prison in July 2020 to meet with incarcerated gang leaders. In August 2021, El Faro published evidence from the Attorney General's Office that senior prison officials in the Bukele administration removed logbooks and hard drives documenting their negotiations with El Salvador's three gangs amid a criminal probe. In December 2021, the U.S. Treasury blacklisted Luna and a top lieutenant, Carlos Marroqu\u00edn, for leading the talks on behalf of the Bukele administration.\u003C\/p\u003E"},"cms-image-000036892-jpg":{"feat":"1","sort":"36892","name":"cms-image-000036892.jpg","link":"http:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036892.jpg","path":"http:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036892.jpg","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000036892-jpg","text":"<p>El Fiscal General, Rodolfo Delgado, durante una intervenci\u00f3n en la Comisi\u00f3n Pol\u00edtica de la Asamblea Legislativa en noviembre del 2021. Foto de El Faro: Cortes\u00eda cuenta de Twitter del fiscal Delgado.<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003EEl Fiscal General, Rodolfo Delgado, durante una intervenci\u00f3n en la Comisi\u00f3n Pol\u00edtica de la Asamblea Legislativa en noviembre del 2021. Foto de El Faro: Cortes\u00eda cuenta de Twitter del fiscal Delgado.\u003C\/p\u003E"},"cms-image-000036919-jpg":{"feat":"0","sort":"36919","name":"cms-image-000036919.jpg","link":"http:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036919.jpg","path":"http:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036919.jpg","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000036919-jpg","text":"<p>The president of El Salvador\u2019s Legislative Assembly, Ernesto Castro, swears in the country\u2019s new attorney general, Rodolfo Delgado, in the early hours of May 2, 2021, during the new Assembly\u2019s first legislative session. Photo: Legislative Assembly<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003EThe president of El Salvador\u2019s Legislative Assembly, Ernesto Castro, swears in the country\u2019s new attorney general, Rodolfo Delgado, in the early hours of May 2, 2021, during the new Assembly\u2019s first legislative session. Photo: Legislative Assembly\u003C\/p\u003E"},"cms-image-000036920-jpg":{"feat":"0","sort":"36920","name":"cms-image-000036920.jpg","link":"http:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036920.jpg","path":"http:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000036920.jpg","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000036920-jpg","text":"<p>An agent with the National Civil Police (PNC) inspects the firearm permits of prosecutors as they attempt to raid the offices of the Ministry of Health in 2020, during investigations into corrupt pandemic-related government purchases. Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003EAn agent with the National Civil Police (PNC) inspects the firearm permits of prosecutors as they attempt to raid the offices of the Ministry of Health in 2020, during investigations into corrupt pandemic-related government purchases. Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro\u003C\/p\u003E"}},"pict_main__sort":36892,"date":{"live":"2022\/01\/19"},"data_post_dateLive_YY":"2022","data_post_dateLive_MM":"01","data_post_dateLive_DD":"19","text":"\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Ca href=\"\/es\/202201\/el_salvador\/25931\/Fiscal%C3%ADa-allana-oficinas-de-fiscales-que-realizaron-la-investigaci%C3%B3n-Catedral.htm\"\u003E\u003Cem\u003ELeer en espa\u00f1ol\u003C\/em\u003E\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EEl Salvador\u2019s Attorney General\u2019s Office has opened an internal investigation into seven current and former prosecutors who oversaw Operation Cathedral, a sweeping probe into acts of corruption committed by administration officials between March 2020 and April 2021 including the administration\u2019s secret \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202108\/el_salvador\/25670\/Criminal-Investigation-Found-the-Bukele-Administration-Hid-Evidence-of-Negotiations-with-Gangs.htm\"\u003Enegotiations with the country\u2019s most powerful gangs\u003C\/a\u003E, the \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202109\/el_salvador\/25736\/Top-Bukele-Official-Embezzled-$16-Million-in-Covid-19-Emergency-Food-Supplies.htm\"\u003Etheft of pandemic food relief\u003C\/a\u003E by government officials, the \u003Ca href=\"\/es\/202111\/el_salvador\/25828\/Investigaci%C3%B3n-Catedral-concluy%C3%B3-que-Mario-Dur%C3%A1n-y-Nuevas-Ideas-usaron-el-PES-para-campa%C3%B1a.htm\"\u003Ediversion of food relief for political campaigning\u003C\/a\u003E, and \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202009\/el_salvador\/24796\/Series-of-Corruption-Allegations-Stains-El-Salvador%E2%80%99s-Promise-%E2%80%94-What-Political-Impact-Will-It-Have.htm\"\u003Ecorruption in the allotment of public contracts to respond to the pandemic\u003C\/a\u003E. Operation Cathedral had not progressed since the \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/mailchi.mp\/elfaro.net\/el-faro-english-technical-coup-detat-in-elsalvador-6212804\"\u003Eillegal instatement\u003C\/a\u003E of Attorney General Rodolfo Delgado by the pro-Bukele legislative block in May 2021. Shortly after, Delgado disbanded the unit of prosecutors that handled Cathedral, known as the Special Anti-Mafia Group.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ESan Salvador\u2019s Fifth Court of Peace signed a warrant to search the offices of the Special Anti-Mafia Group prosecutors, some of whom left their positions in the wake of Delgado's instatement. In its request for the warrant, the Attorney General\u2019s Office claimed to have evidence that investigators had leaked \u201cconfidential information.\u201d The newly-appointed chief magistrate of the Fifth Court of Peace, Judge Rafael Antonio Iraheta Tamayo, authorized the searches to begin on Jan. 10.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EEl Faro reviewed a copy of the court order authorizing the raids, which states: \u201cThe raid has been authorized from eight o'clock on Jan. 10 until eight o'clock on Jan. 12 for the purpose of seizing objects (digital information storage devices) used for revealing or disclosing confidential facts, actions, information, or documentation, as well as information obtained in the course of judicially authorized telecommunications surveillance related to the case.\u201d The order added that the devices \u201crelate to the commission of the crimes of disclosing confidential material and revealing facts, proceedings, or secret documents by a judicial employee.\u201d Three former prosecutors involved in investigations of government corruption confirmed to El Faro that their former workplaces were raided on Jan. 10.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\t\t\u003Cfigure class=\"pict pict_land pict_move_posc 0 cs_img cs_img--curr rule--ss_c\" data-shot=\"pict\" data-hint=\"pict\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__pobj text-overflow\"\u003E\u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/get_img?ImageWidth=2000&ImageHeight=1333&ImageId=36920\" class=\"pobj\" style=\"max-width: 100%\" rel=\"resizable\" alt=\"An agent with the National Civil Police (PNC) inspects the firearm permits of prosecutors as they attempt to raid the offices of the Ministry of Health in 2020, during investigations into corrupt pandemic-related government purchases. Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro\" \/\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__line block edge--ss_lax edge--ss_rax padd--ss_l0x padd--ss_r0x line--ss_s0b lineh rule--ss_c\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"block-inline full-width align-middle lineh__rect tint-back--nake\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u00a0\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cfigcaption class=\"pict__text cs_img_caption folk_content typo_buttons line--ss_s0c line--ss_s0c--auto block full-width text-overflow rule--ss_l relative\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"__content block-inline full-width align-top tint-text--idle relative\"\u003EAn agent with the National Civil Police (PNC) inspects the firearm permits of prosecutors as they attempt to raid the offices of the Ministry of Health in 2020, during investigations into corrupt pandemic-related government purchases. Photo: Carlos Barrera\/El Faro\u003Cdiv class=\"photographer text_italic rule--ss_l tint-text--idle\"\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/figcaption\u003E\u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EJudge Iraheta Tamayo also authorized the Attorney General\u2019s Office to extract and analyze information stored on the prosecutors\u2019 electronic devices \u201cthat may be associated with the crimes under investigation.\u201d The work of extracting information and analyzing the devices, the order adds, should be carried out by experts from the Attorney General\u2019s Office.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe judge who authorized the raids and seizures, Iraheta Tamayo, was promoted to the bench as a result of the \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/mailchi.mp\/elfaro.net\/elfaro-english-bukele-purges-judiciary-6213384\"\u003Ereform to the Law of Judicial Careers\u003C\/a\u003E, passed last August by the Bukele-aligned coalition in the Legislative Assembly. This modification to the Law of Judicial Careers forced the automatic retirement of all judges over the age of 60, as well as all those who had served for over 30 years. The move was interpreted by many sectors of the Judicial Branch as a way for the ruling Nuevas Ideas party to appoint judges obedient to the Executive, or at the very least, as a way to \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202109\/el_salvador\/25713\/Survivors-of-El-Mozote-Massacre-See-Justice-Slip-Away-Again.htm\"\u003Eremove judges considered to be disloyal\u003C\/a\u003E.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe reform allowed Supreme Court magistrates, also newly appointed by Nuevas Ideas, to reorganize El Salvador\u2019s court system and appoint replacements for the now-vacant positions. This is what happened in the case of Iraheta Tamayo, who prior to the reform had served as Justice of the Peace in Arcatao, Chalatenango, but now presides over a court in San Salvador that rules on much more consequential decisions, such as the recent search warrant authorization.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EAccording to several prosecutors who spoke with El Faro, the Bukele administration\u2019s persecution of this group of corruption investigators began the moment the new attorney general was sworn into office in the early hours of May 2, 2021. Exiled former chief anti-corruption prosecutor Germ\u00e1n Arriaza \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.reuters.com\/world\/americas\/exclusive-salvadoran-ex-prosecutor-says-government-quashed-probe-into-pact-with-2021-12-28\/\"\u003Etold Reuters\u003C\/a\u003E last December that the Special Anti-Mafia Group was dismantled after Delgado\u2019s arrival. Arriaza said Delgado was aware of the revelations uncovered by the unit.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\t\t\u003Cfigure class=\"pict pict_land pict_move_posc 0 cs_img cs_img--curr rule--ss_c\" data-shot=\"pict\" data-hint=\"pict\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__pobj text-overflow\"\u003E\u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/get_img?ImageWidth=2000&ImageHeight=1334&ImageId=36919\" class=\"pobj\" style=\"max-width: 100%\" rel=\"resizable\" alt=\"The president of El Salvador\u2019s Legislative Assembly, Ernesto Castro, swears in the country\u2019s new attorney general, Rodolfo Delgado, in the early hours of May 2, 2021, during the new Assembly\u2019s first legislative session. Photo: Legislative Assembly\" \/\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__line block edge--ss_lax edge--ss_rax padd--ss_l0x padd--ss_r0x line--ss_s0b lineh rule--ss_c\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"block-inline full-width align-middle lineh__rect tint-back--nake\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u00a0\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cfigcaption class=\"pict__text cs_img_caption folk_content typo_buttons line--ss_s0c line--ss_s0c--auto block full-width text-overflow rule--ss_l relative\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"__content block-inline full-width align-top tint-text--idle relative\"\u003EThe president of El Salvador\u2019s Legislative Assembly, Ernesto Castro, swears in the country\u2019s new attorney general, Rodolfo Delgado, in the early hours of May 2, 2021, during the new Assembly\u2019s first legislative session. Photo: Legislative Assembly\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/figcaption\u003E\u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ENow, both the administration and the attorney general appear to be changing course: not only have they tried to keep the findings of these investigations secret and to remove the prosecutors responsible for carrying them out; they also want to put the involved prosecutors on trial.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EUpon request for comment from El Faro on the raids, a representative of the Attorney General\u2019s Office wrote: \u201cWe can neither confirm nor deny if any such proceedings exist.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EThe Raids\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe first location raided by the Attorney General\u2019s Office was the prosecutors\u2019 office located in Colonia San Benito, in San Salvador. This is the office previously under the charge of Germ\u00e1n Arriaza, the former director of the anti-corruption and anti-impunity division of the Attorney General\u2019s Office, who, along with three fellow prosecutors, created the now-defunct Special Anti-Mafia Group.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe Special Anti-Mafia Group documented that Bukele administration\u2019s negotiations with gang leadership were overseen by Carlos Marroqu\u00edn, head of the General Directorate for the Reconstruction of the Social Fabric, an office within the Ministry of Governance, as well as Osiris Luna Meza, Bukele\u2019s vice minister of justice and the director of the Bureau of Prisons. The special unit also conducted investigations into \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.elfaro.net\/en\/202109\/el_salvador\/25736\/Top-Bukele-Official-Embezzled-$16-Million-in-Covid-19-Emergency-Food-Supplies.htm\"\u003Ecorruption schemes spearheaded by Luna and his mother\u003C\/a\u003E, Alma Yanira Meza Olivares, which included the buying and selling of government food relief packages for political ends.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe prosecutors mapped out a web of government officials responsible for making decisions on acts of corruption. They identified the \u201ccenter of power\u201d as the president\u2019s three brothers: \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202006\/el_salvador\/24542\/The-Bukele-Clan-that-Rules-with-Nayib.htm\"\u003EKarim, Ibrahim, and Yusef Bukele\u003C\/a\u003E, all of whom set government directives without holding official positions. Beneath the Bukele brothers, according to the investigation, were Carolina Recinos, the president\u2019s chief of cabinet, identified as responsible for handing down orders, and several individuals from \u003Ca href=\"\/es\/202106\/el_salvador\/25520\/El-gabinete-oculto-de-venezolanos-que-gobierna-con-Bukele-y-su-familia.htm\"\u003Ethe group of Venezuelan advisors\u003C\/a\u003E who control Bukele\u2019s cabinet.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EOn Dec. 8, 2021, the U.S. Treasury Department \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202112\/centroamerica\/25893\/Treasury-Dept-Salvadoran-Government-Pacted-with-MS-13.htm\"\u003Esanctioned Recinos\u003C\/a\u003E for being \u201cthe head of a multiple-ministry, multi-million dollar corruption scheme involving suspicious procurements in the construction of a hospital.\u201d The U.S. simultaneously sanctioned Luna and Marroqu\u00edn for negotiating with the Mara Salvatrcuha-13 and two factions of Barrio 18 to reduce homicides and ensure the gangs\u2019 support for Nuevas Ideas in the 2021 elections.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe Attorney General\u2019s Office and National Civil Police began their search on Jan. 10, seizing devices they suspected contain the confidential information in question and might help identify the source of the leak, though the court order does not specify to whom the information was revealed. One of the seized devices was Arriaza\u2019s work computer that he left at his desk when he resigned seven months ago. Arriaza is a key figure in the case because he oversaw investigations that, according to two prosecutorial advisors, were ready to be presented in court sometime before April 2021.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EWhy these investigations did not proceed under former Attorney General Ra\u00fal Melara remains unclear. Following the Bukele administration\u2019s instatement of the new attorney general, Arriaza fled El Salvador after receiving threats of arrest for his investigating the administration. Other prosecutors under Arriaza\u2019s charge say they experienced similar threats, and were followed and surveilled following the publication of Operation Cathedral. El Faro confirmed that at least two other prosecutors involved in Operation Cathedral have fled the country to seek asylum.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EEl Faro \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202108\/el_salvador\/25670\/Criminal-Investigation-Found-the-Bukele-Administration-Hid-Evidence-of-Negotiations-with-Gangs.htm\"\u003Erevealed Operation Cathedral\u003C\/a\u003E in August 2021. Attorney General Delgado did not comment publicly on the matter until Dec. 23. \u201cThis isn\u2019t about going around saying there are some kind of anti-mafia groups or I don\u2019t know what, that are created and only exist in the minds of prosecutors who already left their positions, nor is it about an investigation that is basically just a powerpoint presentation that anyone could easily manipulate,\u201d he said on state television. \u201cIt\u2019s unacceptable to toy with the integrity of state institutions,\u201d Delgado continued. \u201cIt\u2019s unacceptable to go around spreading all kinds of bullshit accusations against the Attorney General\u2019s Office and disguising it as journalism. The Office of the Attorney General of the Republic must be respected.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe investigations published by El Faro included surveillance video screenshots from inside the maximum-security Zacatecoluca prison, which show Luna escorting several hooded men to a meeting with incarcerated gang leaders. El Faro, after gaining access to dozens of copies of prison logbooks, had already documented how these hooded men had entered without identifying themselves and met with gang leaders from MS-13 and the two factions of 18th Street. El Faro published internal documents from the Bureau of Prisons, signed and sealed records listing those who attended the meetings, and even coded messages sent by imprisoned gang members to their leadership in the streets.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\t\t\u003Cfigure class=\"pict pict_land pict_move_posc 0 cs_img cs_img--curr rule--ss_c\" data-shot=\"pict\" data-hint=\"pict\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__pobj text-overflow\"\u003E\u003Cimg src=\"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/get_img?ImageWidth=2000&ImageHeight=1333&ImageId=36907\" class=\"pobj\" style=\"max-width: 100%\" rel=\"resizable\" alt=\"Prison Bureau director Osiris Luna enters Zacatecoluca Prison in July 2020 to meet with incarcerated gang leaders. In August 2021, El Faro published evidence from the Attorney General's Office that senior prison officials in the Bukele administration removed logbooks and hard drives documenting their negotiations with El Salvador's three gangs amid a criminal probe. In December 2021, the U.S. Treasury blacklisted Luna and a top lieutenant, Carlos Marroqu\u00edn, for leading the talks on behalf of the Bukele administration.\" \/\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"pict__line block edge--ss_lax edge--ss_rax padd--ss_l0x padd--ss_r0x line--ss_s0b lineh rule--ss_c\"\u003E\u003Cspan class=\"block-inline full-width align-middle lineh__rect tint-back--nake\"\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u00a0\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003Cfigcaption class=\"pict__text cs_img_caption folk_content typo_buttons line--ss_s0c line--ss_s0c--auto block full-width text-overflow rule--ss_l relative\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"__content block-inline full-width align-top tint-text--idle relative\"\u003EPrison Bureau director Osiris Luna enters Zacatecoluca Prison in July 2020 to meet with incarcerated gang leaders. In August 2021, El Faro published evidence from the Attorney General's Office that senior prison officials in the Bukele administration removed logbooks and hard drives documenting their negotiations with El Salvador's three gangs amid a criminal probe. In December 2021, the U.S. Treasury blacklisted Luna and a top lieutenant, Carlos Marroqu\u00edn, for leading the talks on behalf of the Bukele administration.\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/figcaption\u003E\u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThree weeks ago, the Nuevas Ideas legislative bloc renewed its support for Delgado, appointing him to serve another three years as attorney general. Prior to serving in this official position, \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.laprensagrafica.com\/elsalvador\/Investigacion-revela-que-fiscal-impuesto-trabajo-para-Alba-Petroleos-20210801-0052.html\"\u003EDelgado worked as a lawyer for Alba Petr\u00f3leos\u003C\/a\u003E, the Salvadoran subsidiary of the Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA. In 2018, the Attorney General\u2019s Office opened money laundering investigations into PDVSA implicating President Nayib Bukele. In 2020, Delgado also represented National Civil Police director Mauricio Arriaza Chicas when he faced \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/insightcrime.org\/news\/analysis\/el-salvador-police-obstructing-justice\/\"\u003Eprosecution on charges of disobedience and fraud\u003C\/a\u003E.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EOn Jan. 10, as prosecutors raided Arriaza\u2019s former office in San Benito, they also raided the offices of the government\u2019s anti-impunity task force, the Grupo contra la Impunidad (GCI), at the Attorney General\u2019s Office headquarters in San Salvador. GCI prosecutors used to collaborate with the International Commission Against Corruption and Impunity (CICIES), and had conducted several investigations into corruption relating to pandemic-related government spending. In 2019 Bukele himself called for the creation of the CICIES, but his posture changed when revelations broke that the commission had assisted in investigations into the Bukele administration.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EOne month after he was appointed Attorney General, \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.reuters.com\/world\/americas\/salvadoran-attorney-general-ends-anti-corruption-accord-with-oas-2021-06-04\/\"\u003EDelgado broke ties with the CICIES\u003C\/a\u003E, citing the OAS\u2019s hiring of Ernesto Muyshondt, the former mayor of San Salvador and a member of the right-wing opposition party Arena, who was accused of negotiating with gangs and is currently being held in pre-trial detention. Delgado argued that the hiring of Muyshondt called into question the integrity of the CICIES, but the \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.oas.org\/en\/media_center\/press_release.asp?sCodigo=E-059\/21\"\u003EOAS maintains\u003C\/a\u003E that Muyshondt was never actually hired.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIn addition to Cathedral, another case of interest to prosecutors is the investigation of officials who favored family members, or companies with which they had close ties, in the purchase of pandemic-related medical supplies. That investigation led to the discovery that \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.elfaro.net\/es\/202011\/el_salvador\/24995\/668--de-las-compras-de-insumos-m%C3%A9dicos-bajo-investigaci%C3%B3n-por-negociaciones-il%C3%ADcitas.htm?st-full_text=all&tpl=11\"\u003EUS$20 million of the $31 million allocated to the government\u2019s emergency pandemic budget (Fopromid) was used to make illegal and nepotistic business deals\u003C\/a\u003E. This revelation gave cause to the GCI, on Nov. 10, 2020, to raid the ministries of Health, Agriculture, Security, Government, Social Security, along with other offices of the executive branch, as part of what the Attorney General\u2019s Office said was an investigation into the illicit business dealings of public employees, such as Health Minister Francisco Alab\u00ed.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThat raid marked the beginning of the rivalry between the Bukele administration and Attorney General Ra\u00fal Melara. On Nov. 10, agents with the National Civil Police (PNC) \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.elfaro.net\/es\/202011\/el_salvador\/0000024990-el-dia-en-que-la-policia-obstaculizo-la-investigacion-del-fiscal-contra-el-gobierno-bukele\"\u003Eattempted to prevent prosecutors from entering and searching the Ministry of Health\u003C\/a\u003E, in contravention of a judge\u2019s order authorizing the raid. In response, Melara petitioned the Legislative Assembly to create \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.elfaro.net\/es\/202011\/el_salvador\/25032\/As%C3%AD-ser%C3%ADa-la-nueva-polic%C3%ADa-fiscal-que-Ra%C3%BAl-Melara-pide-a-la-Asamblea.htm\"\u003Ea special criminal investigative unit\u003C\/a\u003E to make arrests or carry out investigations and searches without relying on the PNC, an institution that Melara believed could no longer be trusted. The special unit was never created.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ESince May 1, \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202105\/el_salvador\/25452\/New-Legislative-Assembly-Ousts-Supreme-Court-Magistrates-and-Attorney-General.htm\"\u003Ewhen the Legislative Assembly ousted Melara and several Supreme Court magistrates\u003C\/a\u003E, and as the Jan. 10 raids illustrate, the PNC and the Attorney General\u2019s Office have become close collaborators.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E*Translated by Max Granger\u003C\/p\u003E"}