Salvadoran legislature creates a special commission to investigate NGOs.

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Wednesday, May 19th, 2021
Legislative Assembly special commission
Legislative Assembly special commission. Photo by Legislative Assembly

In yesterday’s legislative session, Salvadoran legislator created a Special Commission to investigate the final destination of funds previously assigned by the Legislative Assembly to non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

On May 13, Ernesto Castro, president of the legislative body, reported that several non-governmental organizations had received close to $159 million from El Salvador’s general budget in the last five years. Castro and other legislators believe that many of these NGOs were used to steal public funds.

Yesterday, with 63 of 84 votes in favor, the legislature approved the creation of the Special Commission that will investigate the destination of the funds granted to non-profit organizations, associations, and foundations.

Once the commission was created, Ernesto Castro swore in the seven deputies proposed by legislator Christian Guevara to form this legislative body. All seven deputies belong to the New Ideas political party.

Deputy Alexia Rivas was appointed as president of the investigative commission. “On Thursday at 10:00 am, we will install the First Session of the Special Commission that will investigate the NGOs that received funds from the legislative Assembly. Salvadorans deserve to know who received that money, and those involved should tell us how they used it,” said Rivas.

Members of the opposing political parties questioned why they were not included in the special commission. FMLN and VAMOS deputies requested to be part of the special commission; however, the presidency of the Legislative Assembly did not call for a vote on the proposal of inclusion.

Alexia Rivas responded to the questioning, “The [political] parties that have been linked to corruption and that also established NGOs to benefit from public money want to be in the Special Commission. Why? To be judge and party and spoil the investigations?” Expressed Alexia Rivas.

The commission will be in charge of studying the fund’s disbursements of the last five years to NGOs and identifying if some of them used them for other purposes than they initially requested.

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