(CNN Spanish) — A court in San Salvador ordered this Wednesday that former President Mauricio Funes face a criminal trial for allegedly committing the crimes of illegal groups and breach of duty.
The trial against the ex-president, according to Attorney General Rodolfo Delgado, would be for the alleged pact between gangs carried out in 2012, during the Funes government, which would have allowed his government to reduce the homicide figures. “He has been declared a rebel and an arrest warrant is issued against him,” Delgado added on his Twitter account.
According to the indictment, Funes granted benefits to gang members who were in prison. Among them, the transfer of leaders imprisoned in the Maximum Security Penal Center to other lower security prisons.
Funes has not ruled on this judicial decision. In the past, the former president, who has lived in Nicaragua since 2016, has rejected accusations that he organized non-aggression agreements between gangs in exchange for prison benefits, as stated in the prosecution’s indictment. According to what he said, his government did not negotiate with these criminal groups. Although he does acknowledge that he facilitated the pact so that they would not continue killing each other.
Funes has not appeared at any of the hearings and has not appointed a lawyer to represent him. For this reason, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, the process against him was suspended. However, it was resumed after the Legislative Assembly approved in September a series of reforms to criminal legislation, including the possibility of prosecuting fugitives from Salvadoran justice declared in absentia.
Funes has five other criminal proceedings open in El Salvador for events related to possible corruption during his tenure. In all of them he has pleaded not guilty.