El Salvador Update: June 2014 / Informe mensual El Salvador, junio 2014

A PDF version of the El Salvador Update is available here.

A PDF version of the June 2014 Peacemaking Chronology is available here.
Versión en formato PDF aquí.

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On June 1st, Salvador Sánchez Cerén was sworn in as President of El Salvador with all due pomp and ceremony. The former guerrilla commander’s acceptance speech was widely praised as conciliatory, and the exuberant President later told supporters, “I struggled for 50 years for my dreams, and now I am here, President of the Republic!”

The presidential sash was barely tucked away when a crisis erupted that would consume the new government and focus Washington’s attention on long-festering and neglected problems in Central America’s Northern Triangle. The months-long flood of unaccompanied minors and single parents from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras crossing the Rio Grande into southern Texas was revealed on June 5th, when authorities announced that over 47,000 unaccompanied children and 39,000 adults with children had crossed the border since October 2013 – a 197% increase over the previous year.

The Obama Administration declared the flood of migrants a humanitarian crisis. Journalists and analysts offered various explanations for the deluge as immigration officials struggled to cope, often with unsafe and unhealthy consequences for the children. By June 15th, the number of unaccompanied minors detained crossing the border reached 52,000, with predictions of 90,000 arriving by the end of the year.

Salvadorans have been fleeing poverty, lack of opportunity, and violence – due to war, domestic abuse, street gangs, and organized crime – for decades, so why this surge, and what has motivated parents already in the U.S. to entrust their children still at home to unscrupulous “coyotes”? For many who left children behind in order to work at low-paying jobs, save money, and send remittances back home, family reunification has become increasingly important as years pass without immigration reforms that would at the very least allow family visits.

The Obama Administration charges that in recent months, a deceitful campaign by organized crime in Central America has targeted families desperate for reunification with rumors of amnesty or “special treatment” for minors once they cross into the U.S. Some rushed as they were told of a June 30th deadline for recent arrivals. Desperation and disinformation created the perfect storm for human traffickers, especially given children are a “niche market” for traffickers in the words of Salvadoran Ambassador Rubén Zamora.

The journey for migrants through Mexico, historically fraught with danger, has beenshorter and safer in recent months. This would imply collusion between the local traffickers and the Mexican cartels who facilitate the journey for a price. Some say the crisis of unaccompanied minors reaching the border diverted the attention of border guards and provided easier access for drug traffickers. And for the families sending their youths, the deceit does not end on the other side of the Rio Grande. Salvadoran Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs for Salvadorans Abroad, Liduvina Magarín, has mentioned reports of “swindlers” in Texas, preying on the families with promises of legal assistance in exchange for $2,000-$3,000.

For decades, the governments of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras turned a blind eye to the drama of migration and the social impact of family disintegration, instead relying on the hard-earned remittances of millions of workers to prop up weak economies. For its part, the U.S. has paid little attention to the region since the end of the Cold War.

The Salvadoran government is trying to reunite as many of the minors as possible with family members. “Throwing them [the children] out of the U.S. doesn’t resolve the problem,” Foreign Minister Hugo Martínez affirmed. Rep. Elliot Engel (NY-16) agreed: “Cracking down on children is clearly not the answer,” he wrote in a letter to President Obama signed by 61 members of Congress. Engel, the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called on the Obama Administration to deal with the root causes of migration with greater investment, including youth gang prevention, reinsertion programs for deportees, and economic development. Vice President Joe Biden met with regional leaders in Guatemala on June 20, saying the children will be returned and there is “no free ticket” for hopeful migrants. Vice President Biden promised U.S. aid, including $25 million for 77 youth centers in El Salvador and funding for campaigns to discourage emigration.

Meanwhile, in Washington, Republicans blamed President Obama’s policy of “leniency” for the crisis and demanded more protection on the border with National Guard troops. The crisis could doom remaining hopes for immigration reform this year.

Who benefits from chaos on the Mexico-U.S. border? When searching for an understanding of the current wave of immigrants, look to politics and, as always, follow the money.

Unaccompanied children held in a detention center. Photo: Reuters

La Bestia. Photo: Al Jazeera                         

Meanwhile, former Ambassador Francisco Altschul was reappointed as Ambassador to Washington with a portfolio that includes strengthening relations with the U.S., securing speedy disbursement of the Millennium Challenge Compact, working on security cooperation, and strengthening trade and investment. Rubén Zamora, the current Ambassador to Washington, will serve as the country’s Ambassador to the United Nations.

In this issue of the Update, we will first return to the inauguration and presidential address on June 1st, then touch on the new government’s activities in its first weeks in the areas of foreign policy, security, the economy, and human rights.

A complete list of all government appointments can be found at the bottom of the report.

The Inauguration of Salvador Sánchez Cerén:

President Salvador Sánchez Cerén’s inauguration. Photo: El Mundo

Six thousand people – most representing the President’s party, the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) – attended the June 1st inauguration ceremony inside of San Salvador’s Convention Center. It was an emotional day for the party’s supporters, certainly for Sánchez Cerén and his generation, who participated in decades of military and political struggle in the long journey to power. The crowd was boisterous, wildly cheering the entrance of Latin American leftist leaders, booing unpopular Supreme Court justices and chanting, “El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!” (“The people united will never be defeated”).

Over 100 international delegations arrived at El Salvador’s International Airport, recently renamed in honor of Archbishop Óscar Romero, who was slain by a right-wing death squad in 1980. At the Convention Center, Evo Morales of Bolivia (“EVO! EVO! EVO!”), Rafael Correa of Ecuador, and Venezuelan and Cuban Vice Presidents were welcomed with cheers and chants. The U.S. was represented by a delegation comprised of the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, U.S. Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte, and other State Department officials.

Meanwhile, a near-Shakespearean drama took place on the stage below the seats. The players – including a debilitated outgoing president, a victorious former guerrilla commander, army generals, the conservative Archbishop, justices of the Supreme Court and legislators representing the FMLN and the opposition ARENA party – came together, and enmities briefly marred the formality of the historic event.

The departing president, 55-year-old Mauricio Funes hobbled up the steps to the stage, assisted by a walker and his wife. The former president was a tragic figure: in physical pain (due to back and hip problems) and in mourning for his mother who died on the final day of his presidency. He had entered his office with enthusiasm, energy, a commitment to social justice, a young wife, and baby. He departed physically and morally compromised. Despite questions about many of his political decisions and his personal conduct, President Mauricio Funes received a standing ovation from the crowd: “FU-NES!  FU-NES! FU-NES!”

The scowling Supreme Court justices and ARENA legislators were seated onstage as President Funes slowly climbed the steps.  As the ailing and grieving president passed, shaking hands, deputies from the opposition ARENA party including Roberto D’Aubuisson, Jr. turned their backs, refusing his handshake or even to acknowledge him. It was a churlish and childish act of defiance: The crowd chanted in response, “No volverán! No volverán! No volverán!” (They will not return!)

The drama concluded as the President and Vice-President-elect, Salvador Sánchez Cerén and Óscar Ortiz, both combatants during the long civil war (1980-1992), were welcomed onstage with their wives. President Funes presented the blue and white presidential sash to President Sánchez Cerén, who later said, “I am proud to have accompanied [as Vice President] him during his presidency.”  Twenty-two years after the end of the war, Salvadorans witnessed the fifth peaceful transition of power.

Unidos, crecemos todos” (“United, we all rise”)
Motto of the new government

“After long years of struggle for justice and democracy in my country,” President Sánchez Cerén began, “I accept the presidential sash with humility and profound respect. I accept it with a commitment to exercise the presidency for all Salvadorans here and abroad. I will carry out the presidency with honesty, austerity, efficiency and transparency.”

He called on legislators to be ethical, saying the peoples’ resources are sacred and declaring, “No more corruption!” He promised to enforce tax collection, accountability in government, citizen security, social justice, and a commitment to search for national consensus around the grand issues facing the nation.

The new President described an independent foreign policy that reaches out to the world and encompasses the Partnership for Growth, a U.S. initiative, and the Venezuelan oil alliance Petrocaribe. He emphasized that relations with the U.S. “are of fundamental importance” and will be strengthened both economically and socially, but, he said, the country will also initiate new commercial and trade relations around the world.

President Sánchez Cerén recognized the “heroes and martyrs and visionaries who gave their lives for democracy as well as the soldiers who died” – an unexpected and consequential gesture of reconciliation.

Without highlighting gangs as a problem, President Sánchez Cerén urged young people to participate in their communities and called on all citizens to join in the fight against organized crime, drug trafficking, extortions, and in his words, “all forms of violence.” He said that the Armed Forces will continue assisting the National Civil Police (PNC) in crime control, but also emphasized the structural issues that must be addressed including education, jobs, and community investment. “All of the challenges we must face can only be resolved with unity, dialogue, and full reconciliation…The reality of the country demands consensus, the search for agreements and joint solutions…It doesn’t matter where we come from, where we live, if we are young or old, in this country everyone has a place. El Salvador is of and for everyone.”

The President, Vice-President, party leaders and other dignitaries participated in a public celebration that afternoon with thousands of FMLN activists and sympathizers in the Plaza Cívica, in front of the historic Metropolitan Cathedral, the site of a 1980 massacre and of the celebration of the 1992 Peace Accords.

After the 2009 inauguration of President Funes and the FMLN, one party leader said “now the ball is in our court…everyone in bed or everyone on the floor…we’re all working together.” It didn’t quite evolve that way, partially due to fraught relations in the early years with President Funes, who was never a member of the party, but also due to critical economic and security issues and strong opposition from the right.

The first five years of FMLN government did see consequential changes, including the establishment of important social programs, greater transparency, and the pursuit of corruption during previous governments, led by President Funes. The FMLN acknowledges its debt to the former president and will support him as he faces possible legal challenges and corruption charges from political opponents.

Now, the FMLN controls the executive branch and is better prepared to govern than it was during the Funes government. Cabinet appointees have prior experience in government, but the challenges are enormous. The immigration crisis – a consequence of great and deep-rooted structural inequities – is surely just the first so-called “test of fire.” Expectations are high.


El-Mundo-cartoonPhoto: El Mundo.

This image above represented the presidential agenda on June 1st, depicting President Sánchez Cerén’s challenge of navigating tax evasion, an economic crisis, homicides, extortions, poverty and drug trafficking. Now migration can be added to the list.     

The First Weeks:                                         

Ready to Rule

The new Administration has a 100-day “honeymoon period” to instill confidence and set the direction for the next five years. The cabinet was prepared and priorities were made clear in the days immediately following the inauguration: The President attended the Petrocaribe ministerial meeting; visited a public hospital and a public school; received environmental activists; was presented the official baton as Commander- in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and visited the National Assembly. New officials took charge of the state’s security apparatus in the face of a surge of violence, a crisis of public confidence, and a crisis of morale in the PNC. Any real solutions will be long-term, but with the stark rise in homicide rates in recent months, the public demands immediate action. On Monday June 2nd, everyone in the new Administration went to work.

Foreign Policy:

Partnership for Growth and Petrocaribe

The crisis on the U.S. border would soon consume everyone’s attention, but the first official act of the new President was to join Petrocaribe, the Venezuelan oil alliance, as a full member. Some Republicans in Washington may be concerned, but the new Administration is confident that the long-anticipated decision will not affect relations with the U.S.: “We are not going to align with any group of countries,” Foreign Minister Hugo Martínez explained. Petrocaribe will be one anchor of the new Administration – the U.S. initiative “Partnership for Growth” the other. It is a policy of pragmatism “without ideological ties,” Martínez said, an independent non-aligned foreign policy, “open to the world.”

Among the new government’s priorities are trade and investment. El Salvador has long ties with Taiwan, but it will also open official trade relations with China. The proposal, as the Foreign Minister explained, is for a unique public-private partnership that will include the participation of Salvadoran business interests and has the approval of the Salvadoran Chamber of Commerce.

Consular services for Salvadorans abroad will be improved to encourage closer ties and will no longer “just be delivering documents,” the Foreign Minister affirmed just before the border crisis hit.

State Department Counselor Tom Shannon, a member of the official U.S. delegation to the inauguration, commented on the decision to join Petrocaribe, saying “There is room for everyone … to collaborate and cooperate with the Salvadoran government in its development.” U.S. Ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte praised the conciliatory tone of the President’s inaugural address and said that the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant should be disbursed “in the near future,” adding that the U.S. respects the country’s “sovereign” decision to join Petrocaribe. The Growth Council, a grouping of business leaders established by the Partnership for Growth to assist in overcoming obstacles to economic development, was dormant but will now continue, according to President Sánchez Cerén.

The President attended the G77 meeting in Bolivia where he called for “a new order to live well,” so that “no corner of the planet lacks basic services for its people.” When U.S. Ambassador Aponte was asked if Washington was concerned about the President’s participation in the 50-year-old organization representing developing nations, she said he had both publicly and privately expressed his commitment to strengthening relations with the U.S. and “We are totally committed to the bilateral relationship with El Salvador.”


National Civil Police – Retire, reform, retrain

In his first television interview, Benito Lara, the newly-appointed Minister of Justice and Security, said the first priority is to go after extortions “from different sources” and to give attention to the PNC – more legal and physical protection for the police force (seven have been killed since the beginning of the year), better salaries, intelligence, working conditions, vetting, and retraining for a different style of deployment: community policing.

There are hopes that the new PNC Director Mauricio Ramírez Landaverde and Assistant Director Howard Cotto – originally from the FMLN and a member of the institution since its inception – will have the capacity, will, and support necessary to reform the badly debilitated police force, which was established in 1994 as a result of the Peace Accords.

Efforts will be made to purge the police of corrupt officers without destabilizing the institution. One analyst suggested privately that the first three promotions or graduating classes of the police force from the early 90s may be quietly retired or assigned duty as advisers or attaches abroad. In fact, Hector Mendoza Cordero, the controversial head of Investigations, was reassigned immediately to the ILEA (International Law Enforcement Academy). Mendoza Cordero allegedly had links to the Texis Cartel, was one of the officers investigated by former Inspector General Zaira Navas for corruption, and was then exonerated and reassigned when General Francisco Salinas was named police chief in 2012. The Inspector General’s office will be strengthened, according to security officials, but the IG Ricardo Martínez has not been replaced.

Mauricio Ramirez Landaverde, the new Police Chief, met with mid-level commanders on June 4th and called for unity around the changes to come, including the community policing model, and – in response to long-standing complaints by career officers – promised to take promotions out of the “freezer.” Landaverde said he would give no press interviews for two weeks as he concentrated on internal issues. In terms of deployment, the focus will be on schools, public transportation, and the most violent municipalities, with assistance from the army.

Changing the thinking of the police force will not be easy. El Faro’s investigative report“Harry, the gangster-killing policeman,” (“Harry, el policia matapandilleros”) profiles the mentality and actions of one career policeman who believes killing gang members is a “stupid” but “necessary evil” that was prohibited during the first year of the truce. Following passage of legislation in November 2013 exempting police from investigation or prosecution for actions in the line of duty, several dozen gang members have been killed and “Harry” is back in action. A recent graduate of the Police Academy also interviewed by El Faro unblinkingly suggested the need for a law that permits a death penalty that is “expedited, without going through a judge” that would apply to anyone suspected of being a gang member or even related to the gangs.

The Gang Truce:

“We are talking with everyone.”
Minister of Security Benito Lara

In a meeting with a Center for Democracy in the Americas (CDA) and Salvadoran Civic Business Committee (COCIES) delegation that attended the inauguration, Vice Minister of Security Juan Javier Martínez described the new policy toward gang members as “a firm but friendly hand,” in contrast with the “iron fist” policies of the early 2000s and the confused and inconsistent policies of the Funes Administration. The “friendly hand” includes respect for human and legal rights, he said, a policy sadly lacking in previous administrations where police abuse was frequent, conditions in jails and prisons inhumane, and legal rights rarely recognized.

During the first year of the truce between the Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 gangs, homicides were drastically reduced from around 14 to about 5 per day, but the change in security officials in late May 2013, and the consequent withdrawal of any governmental support for the truce led to a gradual increase in violence. This year, May 23rd – now known in El Salvador as “Black Friday” – saw the highest number of homicides during a single day all year. By the end of the month, the homicide rate had climbed back up to 13 per day, with clandestine “extermination groups” – and/or police like “Harry” – believed responsible for some of the violence.

Newly named security officials have been cautious in describing the security strategy, but emphasize that it will be a comprehensive policy, with a truce between gangs as one element. The policy reflects a broader strategy of decentralization, local development and citizen participation. The focus will be on long-term prevention programs wrapped around rehabilitation and reinsertion and, of course, police reform with an emphasis on community policing.

The truce will be encouraged “and if it is maintained, we won’t interrupt it,” Minister of Security Benito Lara said. The truce mediators, who have supported the peace effort from the beginning, are confident the truce process will be reinitiated and that they will be included as the “shock absorbers” between the gangs and the government “as the only ones who have the trust of the gangs. This is a short term necessity for the government,” one person close to the process told CDA.

Meanwhile, the Administration is tackling the problem on all fronts: cutting access to cell phones in the prisons (often used for extortion purposes), planning projects to humanize the incarceration experience, and supporting the establishment of a new national dialogue commission. An unofficial list of possible commission members includes Auxiliary Bishop Rosa Chávez, Jesuit Father José María Tojeira, evangelical pastor Carlos Rivas, writer and signer of the Peace Accords David Escobar Galindo, former Christian Democrat Vice President Fidel Chávez Mena, and respected businessman Antonio Cabrales who will represent the Humanitarian Foundation established to support the truce effort. The mediators are assured that while they will not have a presence on the commission, they will have a voice via Cabrales. On June 15th the Archbishop announced the names of four designees to the commission.

Five years ago, on June 2nd, 2009, the gangs offered a truce and dialogue with the government to resolve the problems of violence. That offer was ignored until March of 2012. The truce was successful in reducing homicides, but collapsed due to government incapacity and inertia as well as public distrust. This year, on June 3rd, anothercommunique was released, wishing the new president success and noting that the “historic opportunity” still exists “to return to the peace that began on March 9, 2012.”


Minister of Justice and Security Benito Lara. Photo: El Faro

When President Sánchez Cerén declared “no truce for organized crime” on June 12th, the media jumped to the conclusion that the new government would not support a truce or peace process. In a long interview with El Faro on June 15th, Minister Benito Lara clarified the policy, saying that dispensing with the term “truce” does not mean an end to a dialogue with the gangs. The word “truce” is out but the essence of the policy of “humanization of the gangs,” the development of a social policy that tackles structural issues, and, “if necessary,” a dialogue with the leaders remains. Lara believes the original truce failed because of day-to-day pressures, a lack of a strategic vision, inadequate intelligence and investigative capacity, and “bad press management.”

Any agreements between the gangs will not be interrupted, the Minister said, but the government is designing its own policy. The mediators can continue their work and gang leaders will be allowed to meet in Mariona Prison as they did until the end of May 2013, because “they need to communicate.” He sees the gangs as “a symptom, not an illness,” not a cartel or a criminal enterprise, but as a social phenomenon. “If we want to know them in order to have the correct strategies it is necessary to be close,” he said, “to know what they think in order to have an influence….We will speak with everyone, but all within the law.”

The Armed ForcesOld enemies, now friends?

President Sánchez Cerén – known as Leonel González when he led battles against the army during the civil war – received the baton as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces on June 5th in a ceremony that included trumpets, cannons, and helicopters overhead.  Footage of the event can be seen here.

Friends of the Armed Forces,” the President began, “if in the past the circumstances of life pitted us against one another, now in this hopeful present, we have the valuable opportunity to build our future together.” He paid tribute to soldiers who died in the war and described the current military as the “defender of democracy, respectful of the rule of law and human rights.” El Salvador is “updating” the Peace Accords, “making this great agreement a reality,” he said. The army will be deployed to build roads and participate in health and environmental campaigns, he added, and will continue to assist the National Civil Police (PNC) in its public security mission.

Meanwhile, old acrimony between Attorney General Luis Martínez and Minister of Defense David Munguía Payés was further fueled by accusations by the Attorney General that the Minister was involved in arms trafficking, even selling weapons to gangs.  Prosecutors who arrived unannounced on May 30th to search the Ministry of Defense archives for records pertaining to its weapons inventory were refused entrance. Minister of Defense Munguía Payés argued that information on the nation’s military arsenal is classified. The President met with both officials separately to mediate and the Minister later appeared before prosecutors as a witness. Military weapons slated for destruction have been stolen and sold in the past, including 1,800 grenades in one case denounced by the Minister Munguía Payés in 2011; in that instance, the case was “lost” in the courts and the accused were released.


“We cannot continue thinking that the country is going to have an economy sustained by remittances…
We cannot continue expelling people, now even children!”
President Salvador Sánchez Cerén

The crisis on the U.S. border exposed the endemic poverty and violence of a country that has lost one-third of its population to emigration. The Sánchez Cerén Administration is committed to the expansion of social programs, but must first overcome its fiscal deficit and achieve advances in economic development.

The FMLN fought a successful battle for approval of $1.1 billion in treasury bonds, ensuring the government’s ability to pay its bills through the end of the year. ARENA refused to support the legislation and just two weeks after the inauguration announced, “the honeymoon is over.”

An even larger battle looms over fiscal reform. Modest measures designed to pull in $200 million continue to be hard fought by ARENA and ANEP. New Vice Minister of Trade Merlin Barrera chastised opponents saying, “We want to be a first world country with third world taxes.” IMF officials approved the reform measures, which included taxes on luxury goods, printing presses and newspapers, incomes over $150,000 and financial transactions over $750, but also called on the government to reduce the fiscal debt and implement strict austerity measures.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) development grant – known as Fomilenio II in El Salvador – continues to elude final disbursement. On June 19th, U.S. Ambassador Aponte said she was pleased with the progress on a remaining issue of compliance with the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR). “We’re almost there,” she said, but added that reforms to money-laundering legislation were pending. However, the FMLN still disagrees with the reform exempting certain industries and officials from compliance with financial disclosure requirements. Despite the urgent need to stimulate the economy with the $277 million development grant, final approval may still be weeks away.

Meanwhile, remittances continue to sustain at least 1/5th of the population, according to a report by the Central Reserve Bank. El Salvador is #10 on the list of countries receiving the highest percentage of GDP revenues from remittances – over 16%. In 2012, 19.8% of households received an average of $288.10 per month from overseas relatives. And the exodus to the United States will continue, regardless of the future of immigration reform; in a recent survey by the University of Central America’s public opinion institute, IUDOP, four out of every ten respondents expressed the desire to emigrate.

Human Rights:

  • Padre José Maria Tojeira of the UCA wrote that he felt “excited and hopeful” after hearing the President’s inaugural address, saying that this is “another chapter in Salvadoran history” and that he is pleased that the address acknowledged “the moral debt to the disappeared and to the truth.”
  • In Madrid, Stanford Professor Terry Karl provided expert witness testimony on the Jesuit case to Judge Eloy Velasco. The judge had pursued the case for years under the universal jurisdiction law which was rescinded by the Spanish Parliament earlier this year. The cases against 13 Salvadoran military officers will go forward, however, as an “act of terrorism.” While most of the accused are safely ensconced in El Salvador, Colonel Orlando Inocente Montano may be extradited from the U.S. to Spain to face trial. Montano was found guilty of immigration fraud last year and is serving a 21-month sentence in a minimum security facility in North Carolina.
  • The issue of the 1993 general amnesty for war crimes was not mentioned by the President in his acceptance address. Asked to comment on the still-unfulfilled commitment by the Armed Forces to rewrite its official history of the war, the President said he will work on the project – ordered by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights – but “in the framework of the Peace Accords and to promote reconciliation.”
  • Human rights organizations have demanded that El Salvador’s military open war-time archives to investigators. The President said he will order “measures that allow the reconciliation of Salvadoran society…. So the mothers can know more or less the whereabouts of their children.” He will take steps to assist the war-wounded and veterans, “and this can be done without further polarizing society.”
  • The Supreme Court will hear a case filed December 4th 2013 against the Archdiocese for misappropriation of the Tutela Legal archives. The Court must decide if the files belong to the victims and their families, or to the Archdiocese. The historic human rights office was shut down by the Archbishop last year.

Government and Cabinet Appointments:




Salvador Sánchez Cerén

Vice President

Óscar Ortiz

Secretary of Strategic Planning

Roberto Lorenzana

Private Secretary to the President

Manuel Melgar

Secretary of Governance and Political Dialogue

Franzi Hato Hasbún

Secretary of Social Inclusion

Dra. Vanda Pignato*

Minister of Justice and Security

Benito Lara

Vice Minister of Justice and Security

Juan Javier Martínez*

Director of National Civil Police (PNC)

Mauricio Ramírez Landaverde

Director of National Academy for Public Security

Jaime Martínez*

Director of Office of State Intelligence

Edgar Lizama

Minister of Defense

David Munguía Payés*

Vice Minister of Defense

Jaime Parada González

Minister of Foreign Relations

Hugo Martínez

Vice Minister of Integration and Promotion

Carlos Castaneda

Vice Minister of Salvadorans Abroad

Liduvina del Carmen Magarín

Vice Minister of Cooperation for Development

Jaime Miranda

Minister of Treasury

Carlos Cáceres*

Vice Minister of Treasury

Roberto Solórzano

Vice Minister of Revenue

Alejandro Rivera

Minister of Economy

Tharsis Solomón López

Vice Minister of Economy

Luz Estrella Rodríguez

Vice Minister of Commerce

Merlin Barrera

Minister of Governance & Territorial Development

Ramón Aristides Valencia

V. Minister of Governance & Territorial Development

Ana Daysi Villalobos

Minister of Health

Violeta Menjívar

Vice Minister of Health

Julio Robles Tícas

Vice Minister of Health

Eduardo Espinoza

Minister of Education

Carlos Mauricio Canjura

Vice Minister of Education

Francisco Humberto Castaneda

Vice Minister Science and Technology

Erlinda Handal

Minister of Agriculture

Orestes Ortéz

Vice Minister of Agriculture

Hugo Flores

Minister of Labor

Sandra Guevara

Vice Minister of Labor

Óscar Morales Rodríguez

Minister of Public Works

Gerson Martínez*

Vice Minister of Public Works

Eliú Ayala

Vice Minister of Transportation

Nelson García

Vice Minister of Housing

José Roberto Góchez

Minister of Environment

Lina Pohl

Vice Minister of Environment

Ángel Ibarra

Minister of Tourism

José Napoleón Duarte

Vice Minister of Tourism

Roberto Viera Díaz

Secretary of Legislative and Judicial Affairs

Ruben Alvarado Fuentes

Secretary of Culture

Dr. Ramón Rívas

Secretary of Vulnerability

Jorge Melendez

Secretary of Citizen Participation and Transparency

Marcos Rodríguez

Director of Prisons

Rodil Hernández

President of Social Fund for Housing

Tomás Chévez

Director of National Registry

Margarita Velado

Director of Social Security Institute

Ricardo Cea

Director of National Medicines

Vicente Coto

Superintendent of Financial System

Ricardo Perdomo

Superintendent of Telecommunications

Blanca Coto

President of Consumer Protection Agency

Yanci Urbina

Executive Director of National Commission for Micro and Small Enterprises

Ileana Rogel

President of National Administration of Aqueducts and Drainage Systems (ANDA)

Marco Antonio Fortín

President of Central Reserve Bank

Óscar Cabrera Melgar

President of Autonomous Executive Port Commission

Nelson Vanegas

President of National Institute for Public Employees’ Pensions

Andres Rodríguez Celis

Secretary of Competition

Francisco Díaz

Recommended Reading:

Harry, el policia matapandilleros.” Daniel Valencia Caravantes, El Faro

Two Salvadoran Generals Ordered Deported for Torture.” Trevor Bach, New Times Miami

Migrant children and families fleeing crime, joblessness.” Ambassador Rubén Zamora, the Miami Herald

Unaccompanied immigrant children report serious abuse by U.S. officials during detention.” American Civil Liberties Union

Children on the Run.” United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Trafficking in Persons Report 2014.” U.S. Department of State

Mexico’s Other Border.”  Washington Office on Latin America