{"code":"26474","sect":"El Salvador","sect_slug":"el-salvador","hits":"1026","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/en\/202211\/el_salvador\/26474","link_edit":"","name":"El Salvador Police Profiled Vice Minister Osiris Luna as Drug Trade Operative","slug":"el-salvador-police-profiled-vice-minister-osiris-luna-as-drug-trade-operative","info":"An intelligence report from the National Civil Police of El Salvador depicted Bukele\u2019s vice minister of security in April, 2020, as illicitly involved with the MS-13 and 18th Street gangs, as well as with drug traffickers. The document, obtained by El Faro through Guacamaya Leaks, also asserts that Guillermo Gallegos, a prominent legislative ally to the government, recruited Osiris Luna in 2013 as \u201chis operative in the drug business.\u201d","mtag":"Corruption","noun":{"html":"\u003Cspan class='tint-text--dark' data_href='\/user\/profile\/jalvarado'\u003E Jimmy Alvarado\u003C\/span\u003E","data":{"jimmy-alvarado":{"sort":"jalvarado","slug":"jimmy-alvarado","path":"jimmy_alvarado","name":"Jimmy Alvarado","edge":"0","init":"0"}}},"view":"1026","pict":{"cms-image-000037386-jpg":{"feat":"1","sort":"37386","name":"cms-image-000037386.JPG","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000037386.JPG","path":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000037386.JPG","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000037386-jpg","text":"<p>Osiris Luna, viceministro de Seguridad y Justicia y director de Centros Penales, durante una intervenci\u00f3n en Centro Penitenciario de Izalco, en el departamento de Sonsonate, el 27 de abril de 2020. Foto de El Faro: V\u00edctor Pe\u00f1a.\u00a0<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003EOsiris Luna, viceministro de Seguridad y Justicia y director de Centros Penales, durante una intervenci\u00f3n en Centro Penitenciario de Izalco, en el departamento de Sonsonate, el 27 de abril de 2020. Foto de El Faro: V\u00edctor Pe\u00f1a.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E"},"cms-image-000038192-jpg":{"feat":"0","sort":"38192","name":"cms-image-000038192.jpg","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000038192.jpg","path":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000038192.jpg","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000038192-jpg","text":"<p>SIPOL\u2019s map of Osiris Luna's ties to criminal organizations.<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003ESIPOL\u2019s map of Osiris Luna's ties to criminal organizations.\u003C\/p\u003E"},"cms-image-000038193-jpg":{"feat":"0","sort":"38193","name":"cms-image-000038193.JPG","link":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000038193.JPG","path":"https:\/\/elfaro.net\/images\/cms-image-000038193.JPG","back":"","slug":"cms-image-000038193-jpg","text":"<p>Cover of the summary of SIPOL's internal investigation into Luna's travel on a private flight in Mexico.<\/p>","capt":"\u003Cp\u003ECover of the summary of SIPOL's internal investigation into Luna's travel on a private flight in Mexico.\u003C\/p\u003E"}},"pict_main__sort":37386,"date":{"live":"2022\/11\/16"},"data_post_dateLive_YY":"2022","data_post_dateLive_MM":"11","data_post_dateLive_DD":"16","text":"\u003Cp id=\"docs-internal-guid-ff645848-7fff-571f-45eb-6220985129cb\" dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cem\u003E\u003Ca href=\"\/es\/202211\/el_salvador\/26442\/Inteligencia-Policial-del-actual-Gobierno-perfila-a-Osiris-Luna-como-un-delincuente.htm\"\u003ELeer en espa\u00f1ol\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/em\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe National Civil Police opened an investigation into Vice Minister of Security Osiris Luna Meza after the publication of pictures in November, 2019, of Luna on a private jet, purportedly while traveling in Mexico to meet with possible security contractors. In an internal report five months later, the Police Intelligence Subdirectorate (SIPOL) hypothesized that Luna, who in his capacity as vice minister also directs the Prison Bureau, illicitly paid for the trip with prison commissary funds.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ESIPOL wrote in the report that what it called \u201cMr. Osiris Luna Meza's criminal circle\u201d included the leaders of the Mara Salvatrucha and 18th Street gangs, as well as a drug trafficker, a money launderer, and legislator Guillermo Gallegos, a prominent ally to President Nayib Bukele that the police intelligence office accused in the report of having ties to drug trade.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe report, 13 slides with information from intelligence records prepared by the counterintelligence division of SIPOL, was emailed on April 30, 2020, from an official email account to a high-ranking SIPOL investigator. The presentation did not list how the office produced the findings, only citing \u201copen\u201d and \u201chuman\u201d sources. The email does not indicate whether the PNC acted on the report \u2014 the sender only wrote that they had submitted it \u201cfor your review\u201d and were \u201cawaiting instructions.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ESIPOL hypothesizes that Luna was involved in a web of corruption in prisons. The intelligence report states that \u201cupon his arrival at the Prison Bureau, Osiris Luna received four million dollars from Asocambio, as well as $80,000 from the Apanteos prison, the destination of which is unknown.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe presentation also names Luna as involved with a series of illicit actors, such as Borromeo Henriquez (also known as \u201cDiablito de Hollywood\u201d), one of the most senior leaders of the Mara Salvatrucha-13, a criminal organization involved in \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202009\/el_salvador\/24785\/Bukele-Has-Been-Negotiating-with-MS-13-for-a-Reduction-in-Homicides-and-Electoral-Support.htm\"\u003Enegotiations with the Bukele administration\u003C\/a\u003E since 2019.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe report mentions meetings on April 3 and 4, 2020, in a maximum-security prison. \u201cOsiris Luna arrived with four people and they entered the facility avoiding security controls to meet with Borromeo Enrique Henr\u00edquez Sol\u00f3rzano (Diablito de Hollywood) and Jorge Ulloa Sibri\u00e1n,\u201d the report says. The document does not provide details of what the men discussed.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe report also notes a relationship between Luna and Jorge Ernesto Ulloa Sibri\u00e1n, also known as \u201cEl Repollo,\u201d serving a 77-year sentence for \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.elfaro.net\/es\/201303\/noticias\/11432\/Fiscal%C3%ADa-atribuye-a-salvadore%C3%B1o-capturado-en-Guatemala-dirigir-red-centroamericana-de-narcotr%C3%A1fico.htm\"\u003Einternational drug trafficking\u003C\/a\u003E. The annotation on the presentation reads Luna \u201cmeets in prison\u201d and has two arrows pointing to Ulloa Sibri\u00e1n and former congressman \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.elfaro.net\/es\/201304\/noticias\/11613\/\"\u003EWilber Rivera Monge\u003C\/a\u003E, currently serving \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.laprensagrafica.com\/elsalvador\/Condenan-a-exdiputado-del-PCN-a-15-anos-de-prision-20160729-0081.html\"\u003E15 years in prison\u003C\/a\u003E for laundering Ulloa Sibri\u00e1n's money.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u00a0\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=8009&ImageHeight=4506&ImageId=38192\" class=\"pobj\" style=\"max-width: 100%\" rel=\"resizable\" alt=\"SIPOL\u2019s map of Osiris Luna's ties to criminal organizations.\" \/\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\"\u003ESIPOL\u2019s map of Osiris Luna's ties to criminal organizations.\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/figcaption\u003E\u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ESIPOL also asserts that Luna's subordinates have committed improprieties. For example, the presentation states that Luis de Jes\u00fas De La O Tobar, head of the Department of Prison Records, \u201cwas responsible for preparing and manipulating the files of 25,000 inmates in the penitentiary system.\u201d After Revista Factum revealed that De La O Tobar falsified documents from his studies to obtain the post, Luna transferred him to another area. \"He [Luna] changed his [De la O\u2019s] post and put him in charge of prison stores; [he\u2019s been there] since January 2020,\" the police report says.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ELuna did not respond to a request from El Faro to comment on the allegations in the police report.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EEl Faro obtained the SIPOL presentation through DDoSecrets, an organization that has received millions of emails from El Salvador's National Civil Police directly from Guacamaya, the hackers who breached millions of law enforcement emails from El Salvador and elsewhere in Latin America.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThese are not the only corruption allegations against Luna. His stewardship as Prison Bureau director was the subject of an investigation by the Attorney General's Office prior to the illegal removal of top prosecutor Ra\u00fal Melara in May, 2021. Operation Cathedral, dismantled after Melara\u2019s ousting, concluded that Luna spent $278,000 on phantom positions and that ten supervisors were \u003Ca href=\"\/es\/202204\/el_salvador\/26121\/Investigaci%C3%B3n-Catedral-Osiris-Luna-gast%C3%B3-$278000-en-supervisores-fantasmas.htm\"\u003Epaid excessive salaries in exchange for giving Luna money\u003C\/a\u003E.\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ETwo of these supervisors gave protected testimony to the Attorney General\u2019s Office, which had also wiretapped Luna and his mother, Alma Yanira Meza Olivares. Catedral found that Luna, his mother, and a trusted employee \u003Ca href=\"\/es\/202109\/el_salvador\/25732\/Osiris-Luna-vendi%C3%B3-42000-sacos-de-alimentos-que-eran-para-los-afectados-de-la-pandemia.htm\"\u003Eschemed to steal and sell 42,000 sacks of food\u003C\/a\u003E worth $1.6 million from a pandemic relief program designed to assist vulnerable households during the mandatory 2020 quarantine.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIn July, 2021, the U.S. State Department barred Luna from traveling to the United States by naming him in a \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202107\/centroamerica\/25586\/State-Department-Accuses-Four-Senior-Bukele-Officials-of-Corruption.htm\"\u003Elist of corrupt actors\u003C\/a\u003E known as the 'Engel List,' citing his participation in the Bukele administration\u2019s gang negotiations. Five months later, the Treasury \u003Ca href=\"\/en\/202112\/centroamerica\/25893\/Treasury-Dept-Salvadoran-Government-Pacted-with-MS-13.htm\"\u003Ebarred him from doing business\u003C\/a\u003E in the U.S. and with economic actors from that country.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EBriefcase of Cash\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe police intelligence report leaked by Guacamaya asserts that Luna was a street vendor with contacts in the 18th Street gang in the Las Palmas neighborhood in San Salvador, one of the gang's main strongholds. \u201cThere, he established contact with the Barrio 18 gang and started dealing marijuana,\u201d the report says.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe report also notes that Luna's political career began in the GANA party, first as a legislative advisor, then as an alternate congressman and an elected congressman until his appointment to Bukele\u2019s Security Cabinet in June 2019. \u201cIn 2013, Legislator Guillermo Gallegos recruited him and made him his operative in the drug trade,\u201d the report says, citing \"open sources.\u201d The report adds that Gallegos made Luna \u201chis right-hand man and eventually his legislative advisor.\u201d\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EAccording to the report, Luna received a briefcase of money from \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.elfaro.net\/es\/201304\/noticias\/11788\/\"\u003EHerbert Saca, a political operative\u003C\/a\u003E influential during the governments of Antonio Saca (2004-2009) and Mauricio Funes (2009-2014). In August, 2019, Saca was \u003Ca href=\"\/es\/201909\/el_salvador\/23620\/La-fiesta-de-los-amigos-menos-conocidos-del-presidente-Bukele.htm\"\u003Ephotographed at a party attended by Bukele and GANA financiers\u003C\/a\u003E. The police presentation documents the delivery of the money during the S\u00e1nchez Cer\u00e9n administration. \u201cIn 2018, [Luna] received a briefcase from Mr. Herbert Saca with $150,000; the transaction took place in the restaurant area of the Metrocenter mall in San Salvador,\u201d the report says, citing an anonymous informant\u2019s testimony.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EInternal police records from the \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/www.revistafactum.com\/presidencia-de-bukele-dio-proteccion-policial-a-herbert-saca-investigado-por-lavado-de-dinero\/\"\u003EPolice Directorate for the Protection of Public Figures\u003C\/a\u003E leaked by Guacamaya and published by Revista Factum stated that Herbert Saca received taxpayer-funded security details between January 2020 and December 2021, despite the fact that he did not hold any official government position. The Office of the President ordered the Director of the National Civil Police, Mauricio Arriaza Chicas, to assign bodyguards to Saca.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EOn November 3, the outlet left messages with Gallegos\u2019 assistant and was only told that they wanted a copy of the report so they could decide whether to respond. That same day, El Faro called Saca\u2019s office at his vehicle sales business and wrote him an email requesting an interview. There was no response.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EPrivate Jet\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EOn November 10, 2019, photographs of Luna and a woman on a private flight created a fleeting scandal on social media, causing Luna to \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/OsirisLunaMeza\/status\/1193735564836712449?s=20&t=uWc6CodQn0lp_ObH720Owg\"\u003Epublicly assert\u003C\/a\u003E that he had not used public funds to pay for the trip. \"I was invited to Mexico to learn about various security projects,\u201d \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/twitter.com\/OsirisLunaMeza\/status\/1193735679982919681?s=20&t=uWc6CodQn0lp_ObH720Owg\"\u003Ehe tweeted\u003C\/a\u003E. \u201cI traveled round trip on Avianca (also upon invitation) and, in order to make the entire trip in a short time, flights within Mexico were offered to us at no cost on a private flight,\u201d he claimed. On December 11, 2019, the Mexican government \u003Ca href=\"\/es\/201912\/el_salvador\/23872\/Gobierno-de-M%C3%A9xico-niega-haber-invitado-a-Osiris-Luna.htm\"\u003Edenied having extended an invitation\u003C\/a\u003E to Luna.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EOn April 30, 2020, SIPOL internally circulated a report entitled \"Questioned the Seguritech company in Mexico about [the] visit of the Vice Minister of Security and the superintendent of Siget.\" The details in the email and file do not indicate whether Vice Minister Luna and the director of the Superintendency of Electricity and Telecommunications (Siget), Manuel Aguilar, received any undue economic benefit after a visit to the Mexican offices of a company that sells video surveillance equipment and wanted to become a contractor for the Salvadoran government. Although the report\u2019s title mentions two public officials, the document focuses on Luna.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EThe intelligence report asserts that there is no link between Aguilar and Luna, and that both traveled to Mexico for work via Avianca commercial flights, but also mentions that Luna and his companion\u2019s trip had \"the peculiarity of using a private jet, [and] the nature of these domestic flights is unknown.\u201d\u00a0\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003ESIPOL hypothesized that Luna paid for the flight with funds from prison commissaries: \u201cOn October 10, 2019, Osiris Luna took a trip to Mexico with two other people that cost $27,000; supposedly, these expenses were paid by the Seguritech company, although it is assumed that [the funds] were taken from Asocambio.\u201d The Asociaci\u00f3n Yo Cambio (I Change Association) was founded in July, 2018, under former President Salvador S\u00e1nchez Cer\u00e9n (2014\u20132019) to administer the prison commissaries.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u00a0\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=3000&ImageHeight=2000&ImageId=38193\" class=\"pobj\" style=\"max-width: 100%\" rel=\"resizable\" alt=\"Cover of the summary of SIPOL's internal investigation into Luna's travel on a private flight in Mexico.\" \/\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\"\u003ECover of the summary of SIPOL's internal investigation into Luna's travel on a private flight in Mexico.\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/figcaption\u003E\u003C\/figure\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EEl Faro requested \u003Ca href=\"https:\/\/patriotaviation.mx\/\"\u003Etwo price quotes from companies\u003C\/a\u003E that offer jet transportation services within Mexico. A round-trip flight for two people on a private jet between two cities in Mexico costs $6,000 to $29,000, depending on the distance, number of people traveling, and type of jet.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EIn response to an information request in November, 2019, the Ministry of Security refused to reveal the cost of the trip or the origin of the funds: \u201cWe are only obligated to provide information about flights that have been paid for with public funds\u2026otherwise, we only do so with third-party consent.\u201d\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp dir=\"ltr\"\u003EDespite SIPOL\u2019s accusations against Luna, he continues in his post a year and a half later. At a press conference in June, 2019, Bukele and Luna accused S\u00e1nchez Cer\u00e9n\u2019s Security Minister Mauricio Ram\u00edrez Landaverde of embezzling $14 million through Asocambio. The following September, de facto Attorney General Rodolfo Delgado ordered the capture of Landaverde and 20 other people.\u003C\/p\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cbr\/\u003E\u003Cp style=\"text-align: right;\" dir=\"ltr\"\u003E\u003Cem\u003E*Translated by Jessica Kirstein and edited by Roman Gressier\u003C\/em\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E"}