AP NEWS

Warrant issued for ex-leader of congress in El Salvador

January 10, 2020 GMT

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — Prosecutors in El Salvador said Friday they have issued an arrest warrant for the former head of the country’s congress on money laundering charges.

Attorney General Raul Melara said former congressional leader Sigfrido Reyes and at least 14 associates allegedly laundered about $6 million in proceeds from fraud and embezzlement.

Other suspects have been charged for allegedly selling government property to Reyes’ companies at below-market prices.

Reyes is a former member of the FMLN, the leftist guerrilla coalition that transformed into a political party after the 1992 peace accords.

The FMLN held the country’s presidency for much of the 2010s, before losing power in the 2019 presidential elections.

Reyes served as head of the country’s unicameral congress from 2011-2015. He left El Salvador in November, and may be in France or Russia.

In his Twitter account, Reyes called the charges “crude political persecution.”

Melara said Friday that 10 of the 14 associates, including Reyes’ wife, had been captured.