Ex-Salvadoran defense minister arrested for suspected role in gang truce By

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© . FILE PHOTO – El Salvador’s former Minister of Defense David Munguia Payes speaks during a news conference at the National Congress in San Salvador

By Nelson Renteria

SAN SALVADOR () – Former Salvadoran defense minister General David Munguia was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of unlawful association and other crimes linked to the arrangement of a 2012-2014 truce between crime gangs, El Salvador’s attorney general said.

An arrest warrant was also issued for former Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes, who sought political asylum in Nicaragua in September of 2016, saying he was facing political persecution in his country.

Funes, who governed from 2009 to 2014, is also facing prosecution in five separate court cases.

According to prosecutors, Funes and Munguia allegedly organized a pact between two rival gangs – Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 – in order to reduce the number of homicides between 2012 and 2014, in exchange for providing undisclosed benefits to the criminal organizations.

Manuel Chacon, a lawyer for Munguia, said there was not enough proof to warrant an arrest of his client, local media reported.

Neither Funes nor his legal representative could be immediately reached for comment.

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