6th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center

Fighting Impunity and Corruption in El Salvador: A Conversation with Attorney General Douglas Meléndez Ruíz

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Webcast Recap

El Salvador has been besieged in recent times by record homicide rates, powerful gangs, and significant corruption scandals involving top government officials. Yet despite these challenges, efforts to fight corruption and impunity have shown important results. The Wilson Center's Latin American Program hosted Douglas Meléndez Ruíz, El Salvador's attorney general, for a discussion on these issues.

 

Selected Quotes 

 

Attorney General Douglas Meléndez Ruíz (original Spanish)

“Había que tomar entonces la decisión en ese momento de si íbamos a tener que decidir investigar nosotros por sí como Fiscalía General de la República o íbamos a tener que acceder a un organismo internacional como estaba en Guatemala la CICIG o como está ahora la MACCIH en Honduras. Entonces la decisión que tomamos… fue que teníamos que investigar nosotros por sí, porque si empezábamos a ver si se creará un organismo internacional, yo les aseguro que hasta este día y esta hora estuviéramos discutiendo todavía si ese organismo pueda ser creado.”
 
“We had to then make the decision at that time of whether we were going to have to decide to investigate ourselves as the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic, or if we were going to have to adhere to an international organization, such as the CICIG was in Guatemala or how the MACCIH is now in Honduras. So the decision we made... was that we had to investigate ourselves, because if we started to see if an international organization would be created, I assure you that right now we would still discussing whether that organism could be created."
 

“Pareciera que en algunos países y en El Salvador lo más complicado no es investigar a los criminales, lo más complicado es luchar contra el sistema paralelo que Usted tiene.”

"It seems that in some countries, and in El Salvador, the most complicated thing is not to investigate the criminals. The most complicated thing is to fight against the [corrupt] system that you have."

“Se necesita que la sociedad civil se involucre, que el ciudadano tome conciencia que el fondo público que se robaba es de él.”
 

"It is necessary for civil society to get involved, for the citizen to become aware that the public funds that were stolen are his." 

“La corrupción resta a la inversión y que lo que provoca es la migración a otros países. No hay oportunidad de trabajo, resta eso, y la gente lo que busca es migrar. No tiene las oportunidades por los fondos que son robados.”
 
"Corruption reduces investment, and what it provokes is migration to other countries. There are no job opportunities… because the [investments] have been stolen. "
 
“La corrupción no tiene ideología. Es indiferente la ideología que sea. Hemos encontrado digamos vinculaciones de personas vinculadas a la corrupción también de derecha y de izquierda.”
 
“Corruption has no ideology. It is indifferent to any ideology. We have found…  people linked to corruption from the right and from the left. "

 

07-26-2018 Fighting Impunity and Corruption in El Salvador: A Conversation with Attorney General Douglas Meléndez Ruíz

Speakers

Keynote

Moderator

  • Eric L. Olson

    Deputy Director, Latin American Program; Senior Advisor, Mexico Institute

Panelists