El Salvador this week

A collection of current stories from El Salvador:
  • Attorney General accuses Norman Quijano of fraud and seeks to strip him of legislative immunity.  El Salvador's attorney general Monday accused the ARENA party leader and former presidential candidate Norman Quijano of election fraud and making deals with criminal gangs in connection with 2014 presidential election.  Quijano is currently a deputy in the Legislative Assembly after most recently serving as the president of that body.   More on this in a future post.
  • Prison system head must disclose who funded his trips to Mexico.   The governmental Institute for Access to Public Information has ordered the office of the prison system to disclose who paid for trips, including private jet trips, for prisons chief Osiris Luna Meza.  The case is seen as an indicator of the new government's lack of commitment to transparency.  Investigative journalists at RevistaFactum also reported that Luna Meza last year hired a former campaign worker to a high post in the prison agency.  That worker, however, had falsified his resume to claim that he was a lawyer and had attended certain training courses.
  • Precautions against corona virus announced.  The government has announced preparations to avoid the corona virus taking hold in the country, including screening arriving international travelers, training all health workers in detection of the virus, and warning pharmacies not to price gouge on face masks and thermometers.
  • El Salvador cargo ferries from Costa Rica to start this year.    The ferries will carry more than 80 freight trucks at a time, and will allow shippers to bypass the land route through Nicaragua which is currently plagued by political unrest.  The ferry would dock in El Salvador at the port in La Union.  (Not a Bukele initiative, this plan was started in 2018). 
  • Presidents of El Salvador and Guatemala meet.   The new president of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, came to El Salvador for a meeting Monday with president Nayib Bukele.    The two announced an agreement which would treat flights between the two countries as domestic flights without the need to pass through immigration authorities.  Similarly, they described plans to reduce barriers at their border to allow the free flow of people and merchandise.  Giammattei also stated that Guatemala would grant a concession to El Salvador to allow the smaller country to have a port on the Atlantic Ocean.  (El Salvador only has a Pacific Coast unlike the other Central America counties which border both oceans).