11 August, 2022

US points to more government officials of President Bukele for negotiations with gangs and corruption

Remarks by the United States to Salvadoran Officials

Today, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department. from the US Treasury. appointed Osiris Luna Meza, Carlos Amílcar Marroquín Chica and Alma Yanira Meza Olivares under the Global Magnitsky Law on Human Rights Responsibility.

Vice Minister of Security and General Director of Penal Centers, Osiris Moon (Photo social networks)

Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

WASHINGTON – Today, the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department. from the US Treasury, appointed Osiris Luna Meza, Carlos Amílcar Marroquín Chica and Alma Yanira Meza Olivares under the Global Magnitsky Law on Human Rights Responsibility.

Luna and Marroquín are being designated for being government officials who are “responsible for or complicit in, or have been directly or indirectly involved in, corruption". Meza has been appointed for helping Luna in this corruption.

As a result of these designations, the Treasury Department will block all property and interests in the United States belonging to Luna, Meza or Marroquín. As published on its official Twitter account by the United States Embassy in El Salvador @USEmbassySV

An investigation into El Salvador government officials and jailed gang leaders, as Mara Salvatrucha 13 (MS-13), designated by the Treasury, has revealed covert negotiations between government officials and the criminal organization MS-13.

Osiris Luna Meza and Carlos Amilcar Marroquín Chica directed, facilitated and organized a series of secret meetings involving incarcerated gang leaders, in which known gang members were allowed to enter prison facilities and meet with senior gang leaders, According to the report released today by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Department. from the US Treasury and published on the social networks of the United States Embassy in El Salvador.

These meetings were part of the Government of El Salvador's efforts to negotiate a secret truce with gang leaders..

In 2020, Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele's administration provided financial incentives to Salvadoran gangs MS-13 and 18th Street to ensure that incidents of gang violence and the number of confirmed homicides remained low.

In the course of these negotiations with Luna and Marroquín, the gang leadership also agreed to provide political support to the New Ideas party in the upcoming elections. New Ideas is the president's political party and obtained a supermajority of two thirds in the legislative elections of 2021.

The Bukele management was represented in such transactions by Osiris Luna, the head of the Salvadoran Penal System and Vice Minister of Justice and Public Security, and Carlos Marroquín, President of the Unit for the Reconstruction of the Social Tissue.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Luna also negotiated an agreement with gang leaders from MS-13 and Barrio 18 for gang support of President Bukele's national quarantine in gang-controlled areas.

On the other hand, Luna participated in a scheme to steal and resell government-bought commodities that were originally intended to alleviate the COVID-19 pandemic.. These items were transferred to private companies and then resold on the private market or returned to the government. Luna's mother , Alma Yanira Meza Olivares, acted as negotiator in some of these transactions.

Luna and Marroquin are designated in accordance with EO 13818 for being foreign persons who are current or former government officials, or persons acting for or on behalf of said official, who are responsible or complicit in, or have been directly or indirectly involved in, corruption. , including misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or extraction of natural resources, or bribery.

IMPLICATIONS OF SANCTIONS

As a result of today's action, All property and interests in the property of the persons listed above that are in the United States or in the possession or control of American persons are blocked and must be reported to OFAC.

further, any entity that is owned is blocked, directly or indirectly, of the 50 percent or more of one or more people blocked. Unless authorized by a general or specific license issued by OFAC, or otherwise exempted, all transactions of US persons or within (or in transit) of the United States involving any property or interest in the property of persons designated or otherwise blocked are prohibited.

The prohibitions include making any contribution or provision of funds, goods or services by or for the benefit of any blocked person or the receipt of any contribution or provision of funds, goods, according to the report released today.