Week in review

Here are some of the news stories coming out of El Salvador this week.
  • Edgar López Bertran died this week.    Popularly known as "Brother Toby," he was the founder of one of El Salvador's largest evangelical mega-churches, the Baptist Biblical Tabernacle Friends of Israel.   The reins of the church now fall to his son, Toby, Jr.
  • Testimony resumed in El Mozote massacre trial.   Additional witnesses are taking the stand in the trial of El Salvador's military command for its role in the 1981 massacre in El Mozote and surrounding communities.
  • Former Salvadoran Colonel Inocente Orlando Montano was finally extradited by the US to Spain, where he has already been brought in front of a judge in connection with his role in the 1989 Jesuit murders case.   With one of the defendants finally physically present in Spain, the case can now proceed.
  • Meanwhile in El Salvador, Jesuits from the UCA went to court to ask that those who gave the orders for the Jesuit massacre be prosecuted in El Salvador, where the country's Supreme Court has so far protected them by refusing extradition to the proceedings in Spain.
  • When someone created a fake version of the La Prensa Gráfica website, LPG was hopping mad and got the attorney general to prosecute.    The paper has always linked the "troll center" which created the fake site to San Salvador mayor Nayib Bukele, although he was never charged as a defendant.    This week, judges said that prosecution had presented a very weak case and dismissed all the charges.
  • Organized crime kingpin "Chepe Diablo" was let free on bail.    This cannot be a good idea.
  • November ends with a reduced homicide level.   Murders in El Salvador declined significantly to 276 from the 449 homicides seen in a bloody October.   The government says that murders in 2017 have declined 27% from the year before.