Ex-president Salvador Sanchez Ceren to Face Trial for Illicit Enrichment and Money Laundering

By Karla Ramos  |  Feb 28th, 2024
Ex-President Salvador Sanchez CerenSalvador Sanchez Ceren.

Things continue to get worse in 2024 for the left-wing political party FMLN. The political party had terrible results in the 2024 presidential and legislative elections. Now, their former president is about to face charges for the misappropriation of public funds.

Ex-President Salvador Sanchez Ceren is set to face trial for illicit enrichment and money laundering in August 2024. Sanchez Ceren is accused of receiving illegal bonuses during his tenure as vice-president in the Mauricio Funez administration.

The former president, currently in asylum in Nicaragua, will be tried in absentia, similar to ex-president Mauricio Funez, who received a 14-year prison sentence for crimes committed during his administration.

The Salvadoran Prosecutor’s Office (FGR) alleges that former Vice President Sanchez Ceren misappropriated $530,000 in stipends.

Sanchez Ceren is prosecuted along with the former Minister of Public Works, Gerson Martínez; the former Deputy Minister of the Environment, Lina Pohl; the former president of the Autonomous Port Executive Commission (CEPA), Guillermo Lopez Suarez; the former Minister of Justice and Public Security Manuel Melgar; and the former Minister of Labor, Calixto Mejía Hernández.

According to prosecutors, these former officials illegally benefited from State money for $2,673,000 while they served as heads of different government ministries.

The legal proceedings regarding the reception of illicit bonuses and allegations of money laundering against members of the FMLN administration were split into two phases. The first phase transpired in November 2023, while the second is slated for August 2024.

In November 2023, four former officials from the FMLN administrations were sentenced to public service as part of an agreement to return the illegal bonuses they had received.

All the individuals set to face trial in August, excluding the former Minister of Labor, Calixto Mejía Hernandez, will undergo prosecution in absentia. Calixto Mejia attempted to negotiate an agreement with prosecutors similar to the four former officials mentioned earlier; however, no consensus was reached.

The widespread practice of awarding illicit bonuses to government officials was prevalent during the FMLN administrations of Mauricio Funes (2009-2014) and Salvador Sanchez Ceren (2014-2019).