The Specialized Court of Instruction of San Salvador has sent the former Minister of Justice and Security — FMLN governments—, David Munguía Payés, to jail at the request of the Prosecutor General’s Office. Judge Esli Carrillo revoked his house arrest. The resolution of the preliminary hearing also orders the former official to face trial for illegal associations, breach of duties, and arbitrary acts, these crimes classified by Judge Carrillo as serious were configured when Munguía Payés, facilitated and endorsed the truce between gangs.
In the file raised to the last stage of the process, the Prosecutor’s Office incorporated the testimony of the careful witness Noé and the witness Franco protection regime, who have revealed how the truce with gangs was handled between March 2012 and August 2013.
In the criminal cases known as «Operation Jaque» and «Operation Cuscatlán», Noé and other witnesses, including former officials and mediators of that process, have said that Munguía Payés, with the endorsement of former President Mauricio Funes, allowed a series of illegalities to the gangs.
Noé, in the anticipated statement rendered on October 14, 2020, before the Specialized Court of Instruction «A», said that the truce allowed the gangs to strengthen themselves and even get to interact with politicians and raise funds for those structures.
The witness with criminal benefits has stated that the truce «made it easier for them to sow the seed of evil». For the judge, what was stated by the witness is very serious and that the Prosecutor General’s Office fell short of the crimes charged to Munguía Payés.
«It is quite despicable that the State or the government has carried out this truce process and as a judge, I am convinced that it is not a public policy, but that it was sought to obtain a personal benefit,» said Carrillo.
Munguía Payés’ defense filed an appeal for revocation so that the judge would not admit Noé’s statement, but the judge did not admit it, he also rejected the request that he continue to be kept under house arrest.
«The magnitude of this process and the seriousness of the events lead me to conclude that this evidence should be evaluated, the witness from the Prosecutor’s Office was a participant in the events, was in the five meetings at the maximum-security prison —Zacatraz—, must be heard in public view, it is necessary that for the interview to be mediated and valued and that it is not only on paper, «the judge decided.
He reproached Munguía Payés, for being a military man and responsible for the country’s security, and even so, he thought to sit down to negotiate with gangs, «those actions that were carried out, we are experiencing the consequences,» added the judge.
The Prosecutor’s Office was also admitted to the interview of the witness with the Franco protection regime, on July 23, 2020, three days before accusing Munguía Payés, he confessed that the former minister initiated the truce because he had presidential aspirations.
The defendant was of the idea that if he managed to control crime, he would generate revenues and empower him as a presidential candidate, that he could present himself to an electoral process with good credentials, in order to install the truce, he had trusted officials surround him. who appointed as holders in different institutions of the security cabinet.
This process, which began on July 26, 2020, also includes former President Mauricio Funes, who was separated from the case when the preliminary hearing began since the Criminal Procedure Code establishes that without the presence of a defendant, this procedure cannot be carried out.
The fugitive Mauricio Funes is accused of illegal groups and breach of duties, for having promoted, facilitated, and encouraged the gangs. According to the indictment, the former president asylum in Nicaragua and with seven arrest warrants was aware of the illegalities that were being committed in the framework of the truce with the gangs but did nothing to stop them, since what he was looking for was a good image of that in his government the homicides had been reduced.