Salvadoran legislators agree to initiate a pretrial against Norman Quijano

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Nov 4th, 2021
Norman Quijano
PARLACEN deputy Norman Quijano.

On Wednesday, November 3, 2021, ordinary plenary session, the Salvadoran legislature created a special commission to investigate and determine if Norman Quijano’s legislative immunity (Fuero) should be removed.

Norman Quijano, currently a Salvadoran deputy at the Central American parliament or PARLACEN, has had immunity from legal prosecution since October 28, 2021.

The request to remove Quijano’s protection came from Salvadoran attorney general Rodolfo Delgado.

It was presented to the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly on behalf of the Salvadoran justice department FGR on November 3, 2021.

According to the attorney general, “Norman Quijano met with gang members during the 2014 electoral campaign. During this meeting, Quijano negotiated with gang members and gave them money for their support during the elections.”

In 2014, Quijano was sought to win the Presidency of the Republic under the banner of the ARENA party. Quijano lost the election to FMLN’s Salvador Sanchez Ceren in the second round of voting.

The first step in the process is the create a special commission to look at the evidence.

After the investigating process is completed, the commission will formulate a preliminary ruling against or in favor of Norman Quijano.

The commission’s job is not to determine if Quijano is guilty or innocent. Their job is to determine if sufficient evidence exists for Quijano to face trial.

If the commission determines that Quijano’s legal immunity should be removed. It will be put to a vote at a plenary session.

42 out of 84 legislators must vote yes to remove Quijano’s legal protection.

Special Commission Members

Name Political
Raul Castillo New Ideas President
Christian Guevara New Ideas Secretary
Mauricio Ortiz New Ideas Rapporteur
Evelyn Merlos New Ideas Member
Carlos Bruch New Ideas Vocal
Guillermo Gallegos GANA vocal
Walter Coto New Ideas Prosecutor
Rebeca Santos New Ideas Prosecutor
Marcela Pineda New Ideas Prosecutor

Does the Legislative Assembly have the power to remove Quijano’s immunity?

Legislator Portillo Cuadra of ARENA said to reporters that the Legislature does not have the authority to remove Quijano’s legal immunity.

Members of PARLACEN can only have their legal protection removed in a proceeding at the Central American Parliament and not by the Legislative Assembly,” said deputy Portillo Cuadra.

Ernesto Castro, president of the Legislative Assembly, stated that the case has legal precedent.

In 2006, a PARLACEN Salvadoran deputy had his legal immunity protection removed by the Legislative Assembly.

There are videos, investigations, witnesses, and documents… By God, can anyone doubt that Norman Quijano is a criminal who negotiated the lives of Salvadorans with criminals in exchange for votes?” Ernesto Castro.

This is the second time Quijano is facing this proceeding. On May 7, 2020, with 41 votes in favor, 34 against, and one abstention, it was decided in the Legislative Assembly not to remove Quijano’s legal immunity.

This second time it might be different, New Ideas, the political party of President Bukele, has the majority at the Legislative Assembly.

Nuevas Ideas can remove Quijano’s immunity by themselves.

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