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HomeTopicsLatin AmericaEl Salvador Ex-Official Arrested Amid Anti-Graft Push

El Salvador Ex-Official Arrested Amid Anti-Graft Push

A former top official in the government of El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, was arrested by police for an alleged corruption case, the attorney general’s office and the Salvadoran president reported.

The former president of the state-owned Development Bank of El Salvador (Bandesal), Juan Pablo Durán, was arrested Saturday night at the international airport serving San Salvador, for alleged corruption crimes such as accepting bribes, the Attorney General’s Office said on the social network Twitter.

Bukele appointed Durán to the position on June 2, 2019, a day after assuming the presidency of the country. However, he was dismissed from his position in March 2022, the attorney general’s office said.

Since then, an investigation was initiated that now led to his arrest, according to the agency, which did not provide details of the case.

“In the next few hours he will be brought before a competent court to face justice,” the attorney general’s office said.

“I dismissed Juan Pablo Durán as a result of an internal investigation that was conducted on BANDESAL; however, instead of sweeping it under the rug as they did before, we handed it over to the prosecutor’s office so that they could deduce responsibilities,” Bukele wrote on Twitter.

“We are going to fight corruption, wherever it comes from, current and former officials, both from this government and previous ones,” he added.

In his last message to the nation in June, Bukele told Congress that his administration was initiating a “frontal war” on corruption, similar to the actions it has taken against gangs under a controversial state of exception that allows arrests without judicial order.

Under that regime, the government has jailed some 72,600 alleged gang members. According to the authorities, some 7,000 innocents have been released.

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