Fiscal investigation links Salvadoran government officials with "maras"

A request from the Attorney General's Office (FGR) of El Salvador, to which Efe had access, links two officials, including a minister, of the Nayib Bukele Executive to an alleged meeting with gang members in 2015.

It is, according to the document, the current Minister of the Interior, Mario Durán, and the director of Reconstruction of the Social Fabric, Carlos Marroquín.

These people held this meeting when Bukele was mayor of San Salvador (2015-2018) and were part of his team.

The requirement was part of a process faced by more than 60 members of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS13) gang, including several historical leaders and finance managers of this structure.

This case, which ended with sentences of up to 100 years in jail in 2018, was derived from the so-called "Operation Jaque" of 2016, so far the biggest blow to the finances of the MS13.

The document of more than 1,300 pages relates between folios 507 and 510 that in the Telecommunications Intervention Center information was obtained that the gang member identified as Edwin Ernesto Cedillos Rodríguez, alias "Renuente", would meet the "with other subjects of the Mara Salvatrucha and other people from the City Hall of San Salvador. "

"Meeting event of Renuente and Trout with representatives of the Mayor's Office of San Salvador in the Multiplaza, on the twenty-first day of December of two thousand and fifteen," reads the section dedicated to this meeting.

Three monitoring teams of the National Civil Police (PNC) were appointed to monitor the meeting in which Durán and Marroquín participated in December 2016 with gang members.

The undercover PNC agents managed, without listening to the content of the conversation, to observe inside a fast-food restaurant "two subjects with aspects of assembled mareros and two more people, one of them with the mayor's shirt San Salvador".

After the end of the meeting, the police intercepted Marroquín, who identified himself with his Unique Identity Document and said that he worked in the said mayor's office "with the position of head of the Social Tissue Reconstruction Unit".

The police also intervened a vehicle in which the other participant of the meeting was transported and who identified himself as Mario Edgardo Morán Gavidia, "who serves as councilor for the mayor of San Salvador."

Efe reviewed the minutes of the Municipal Council of San Salvador of the period in which Bukele was mayor and the only councilor with a similar name is Mario Edgardo Durán Gavidia, popularly known as Mario Durán.

Local media, such as El Faro and Diario de Hoy, have echoed this investigation by the Prosecutor's Office and point out that the aforementioned meeting took place between Marroquín and the Minister of the Interior, Mario Durán.

"Nayib Bukele also agreed with gangs" and "Tax investigation involves two Bukele officials with maras," they titled these media in publications of June 2018 and this February 6, respectively.

Efe asked through the WhatsApp instant messaging service a spokeswoman for the Prosecutor's Office if he could confirm or deny the information published, at least by El Diario de Hoy, without receiving any response.

During the trial against the financial structure of the MS13 two PNC agents testified that they took part in the follow-up to the meeting and "confirmed" the participation of Durán and Marroquín in the appointment, according to another note published by El Diario de Hoy in April 2018.


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