Around midday on Friday, Salvadoran agents burst into the Salvadoran political party headquarters, kicking down doors and tearing down posters for the main opposition party’s presidential candidate.
The raid, and others like it, are giving citizens of El Salvador some pause as the country gears up for a November 2018 election in which the anti-corruption prosecutor general is in line to become the country’s first female president.
“This is a dirty fight between the elites and a group of youth hoping to make a change in the country,” said Luis Mónica Villarreal, an attorney from San Salvador, referring to the wiretapping scandal that has so far ensnared a number of government and electoral officials and some conservative party leaders. “The [hunting down of the opposition’s] leaders is an act of repression and further hurts the country.”
The wave of raids and arrests have taken place since late November amid an investigation into the purportedly illegal financing of the government of El Salvador, along with an organized crime investigation known as the “Commander’s Husband” case that has been closed three times, the first two times because suspects fled to another country.
None of the investigations have yet led to charges of corruption or organized crime, but authorities allege that political parties and authorities covering up for the money might have contributed to the country’s murder rate and high poverty levels.