Some crooks won't be investigated

El Salvador's Supreme Judicial Court has decided to limit any investigations by its Probidad (Integrity) unit to public officials who had left office less than 10 years ago.   The Probidad unit is in charge of investigating officials in the government who are unable to explain the sources of increases in their net worth during their time in office.   Following the ruling of the Supreme Judicial Court, officials who stole their corrupt dollars prior to 2009 can breathe easier. 

The ruling means that only the FMLN governments of Mauricio Funes and Salvador Sanchez Ceren will fall within the purview of the corruption unit after June 1 and not officials from the prior ARENA governments of Tony Saca, Francisco Flores and their predecessors.   One prominent figure who may escape censure is Ana Vilma de Escobar, vice president of El Salvador during the Saca administration.   Probidad had been reviewing an unexplained increase of $11 million in her wealth during her time in office.

Following the ruling, president-elect Nayib Bukele tweeted:
The Supreme Court of Justice returned another hard blow in favor of IMPUNITY and CORRUPTION in our country.  One more reason why a CICIES is urgent.
"CICIES" is a proposed independent international commission to investigate and prosecute impunity and corruption in El Salvador.

In other corruption news today, journalist Jorge Beltrán Luna published an online article reporting that many of the 2,278 employees of the National Assembly are required to kickback part of their salary to the deputy who got them their job.   Sometimes these kickbacks are as much as half of the total salary and might be delivered in cash to the office of the deputy. 

Corruption is deeply rooted in El Salvador.   If Bukele can make progress in attacking it, the country will be much better for it.