Costa Rica extradites ex-El Salvador leader’s father-in-law
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Costa Rica has extradited the father-in-law of former El Salvador President Mauricio Funes on money laundering charges as the Central American nation continues to pressure its ex-leader.
Funes sent a tweet Thursday calling the highly publicized extradition of Juan Carlos Guzmán a day earlier, a “show” put on by El Salvador President Nayib Bukele.
Bukele’s government made it clear that the real target is Funes.
“With this procedure, which forms part of the continuing criminal process against Mr. Mauricio Funes, a message is sent that there won’t be more impunity in this country,” said new Attorney General Rodolfo Delgado.
Funes jabbed at Bukele. “Obsessed with my capture he puts on a media show of an extradition that has no relevance in the judicial process that I’m facing,” Funes wrote on Twitter.
Guzmán had been pursued by Salvadoran authorities since 2018. Costa Rican authorities captured him in April 2019 when he tried to cross from Costa Rica to Nicaragua. Salvadoran authorities said he was carrying Nicaraguan identification.
Funes, his partner Ada Mitchell Guzmán and sons Diego Roberto and Carlos Mauricio Funes live in Nicaragua, where they received political asylum in 2016. Funes fled El Salvador as a civil case was being built against him for political enrichment. A criminal investigation followed.
Salvadoran authorities allege Guzmán was part of a network of money launderers who allowed Funes to embezzle some $351 million in public funds.
In brief comments to journalists Wednesday, Guzmán denied the accusations. Funes has also denied any wrongdoing.