Redacción de PJ.- La lista Engels, dada a conocer este jueves y en la que se registran los nombres de funcionario, políticos y empresarios del llamado triángulo del Norte, Guatemala, El Salvador y Honduras, ha sido rechazado por la mayoría de los mencionados en ella, asegurando que se trata de una operación geopolítica cuya causa real busca amedrentar a gobiernos adversos a la política migratoria de los Estados Unidos.

Prueba de ello, dicen algunos que prefieren el anonimato, es que durante más de tres meses se mantuvo una campaña abierta dando a entender que dicha lista figuraban mandatarios, jueces y fiscales y que al final tuvo un desenlace sorpresivo asegurando que » esta es solo una parte de la lista» lo que se ha interpretado como una acción de chantaje político por parte de los Estados Unidos que buscan mayor aceptación a sus políticas de trasparencia, corrupción, democracia e institucionalidad. Esa es la razón por la que consideran que la lista publicada mezcla a personas que inclusive han sido encauzadas en los Estados Unidos sin que les hayan podido probar delito alguno.

Uno de los ejemplos a considerar es el del empresario suizo salvadoreño, Enrique Rais, a quien el Departamento de Estado señala de actos de corrupción y de socavar procesos o instituciones democráticas al sobornar a funcionarios, sin que hasta la fecha le hayan podido probar ninguno de los cargos que se le atribuyen.

Además, la Fiscalía de la República Helvética de Suiza cerró recientemente una investigación por lavado de dinero contra el empresario y demandó del gobierno salvadoreño una indemnización a favor de Rais por daños y perjuicios.

El Grupo de Trabajo de las Naciones Unidas que estudiaba la detención del empresario Rais resolvió que los procesos en su contra fueron arbitrarios, por lo que consideran que “el remedio adecuado sería garantizar al Sr. Rais su libertad plena y concederle(…) una indemnización».

Respecto a cargos contra Rais vinculándole con delitos de narcotráfico en los Estados Unidos, estos fueron descartados después que dieran negativo los peritajes realizados por autoridades estadounidenses y que fueran desestimados los informes del periodista salvadoreño Héctor Silva, después que se demostró que este se desempeñaba al servicio de una firma competidora del empresario Rais.

Tal y como se venía anunciando desde hace varios meses, el Departamento de Estado de los Estados Unidos publicó la Lista Engel, donde aparecen funcionarios actuales del Gobierno de Nayib Bukele y que son señalados de actos de corrupción o actos antidemocráticos.

Carolina Recinos, Conan Castro y exfuncionarios como Pablo Anliker, además del operador político de la Presidencia, Walter Araujo encabezan la Lista, acompañados del diputado Carlos Reyes, de ARENA y exfuncionarios del FMLN

El gobierno de los Estados Unidos incluyó a 14 políticos, funcionarios y exfuncionarios salvadoreños en la lista Engel, por haber cometido supuestos «actos de corrupción, obstruir investigaciones y dañar las instituciones democráticas». Entre estos, están seis personas que han pertenecido o pertenecen al gabinete de Gobierno de Nayib Bukele.

En un primer reporte al Congreso de los Estados Unidos, el Departamento de Estado publicó un listado de 14 salvadoreños envueltos en «acciones que dañan los procesos e instituciones democráticas, corrupción significativa u obstrucción de investigaciones sobre corrupción».

El listado completo y las acusaciones dados a conocer comprende a miembros del Gobierno y Nuevas Ideas. También incluye a varios empresarios, como el caso de Enrique Rais, que ya fueron objeto de procesos en su contra y fueron absueltos por tribunales internacionales.

Pablo Salvador Anliker Infante, exministro de Agricultura.
Envuelto en corrupción significativa al apropiarse de fondos públicos para su beneficio personal.

Conan Tonathiu Castro Ramírez, asesor jurídico del presidente de la República.
Atentó contra los procesos democráticos e instituciones al asistir el retiro inapropiado de los cinco magistrados de la Sala de lo Constitucional y el fiscal general de la República.

Óscar Rolando Castro, ministro de Trabajo.
Obstruyó las investigaciones de corrupción y atentó contra los procesos democráticos e instituciones, en esfuerzos para dañar a sus opositores políticos.

Osiris Luna Meza, viceministro de Seguridad y Director General de Centros Penales.
Envuelto en significativos actos de corrupción relacionados a contratos con el Gobierno y sobornos durante su administración.

Martha Carolina Recinos de Bernal, jefa de Gabinete de Gobierno. Envuelta en actos significativos de corrupción haciendo mal uso de fondos públicos para beneficio personal. También participó en un esquema de lavado de dinero.

Rogelio Rivas Polanco, exministro de Seguridad.
Envuelto en significativos actos de corrupción al apropiarse de fondos públicos para beneficio personal.

Walter Araujo, excandidato de Nuevas Ideas y operador político de la presidencia. Expresidente del Tribunal Supremo Electora. Atacó el proceso democrático de las instituciones llamando a la insurrección contra la Asamblea Legislativa, y repetidamente amenazar a candidatos políticos.

Miembros del FMLN

José Luis Merino, dirigente del FMLN.
Por estar involucrado en un acto de corrupción significativo durante fungió como funcionario, además es señalado de lavado de dinero.

Sigfrido Reyes, expresidente de la Asamblea Legislativa.
Exdiputado del FMLN, envuelto en corrupción significativa durante su período como funcionario, a través de fraude y apropiación de fondos públicos.

Miembros de ARENA

Carlos Reyes, diputado de Arena.
Señalado por obstruir investigaciones sobre corrupción al influir de manera inapropiada en el proceso de selección de magistrados de la Corte Suprema, entre otros actos de corrupción.

Ezequiel Milla, exalcalde de La Unión.
Milla es acusado de realizar importantes actos de corrupción durante su período como alcalde en la venta de Isla Perico a China Popular a cambio de beneficios personales.

En la lista figura también el actual magistrado del Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE), Guillermo Wellman quien según el listado divulgado socavó procesos o instituciones democráticas tras causar graves retrocesos innecesarios durante la preparación de los comicios electorales. Además, es señalado por la tabulación de resultados para su beneficio personal y por permitir la influencia maligna de China en las elecciones salvadoreñas.

Adolfo Salume Artiñano
Señalado por el Departamento de Estado de estar involucrado en actos de corrupción significativos y de sobornar a un magistrado de la Corte Suprema de Justicia para evitar pagar una multa, además de otros actos de corrupción.
Salume habría sobornado al ex fiscal general de la República, Douglas Meléndez para despojar a sus competidores en diversos negocios de sus legítimas empresas.

Todas las personas mencionadas en la lista han perdido de manera inmediata –por tres años- su visa o documento de entrada a EE.UU., además, no podrán hacer negocios con empresas afincadas en los Estados Unidos y sus territorios y los bienes que tengan en la nación del norte serán incautados.

Las sanciones contempladas están coordinadas entre los Departamentos del Tesoro y del Estado.

La Lista Engel se basa en la aprobación de la Ley de Compromiso Mejorado del Triángulo Norte de los Estados Unidos o «The United States Northern Triangle Enhance Engagement Act», en diciembre de 2020 y fue promovida por el congresista Eliot Engel, quien finalizó su periodo este año.

Engel fue uno de los legisladores que señaló las violaciones de derechos humanos, ataques a la prensa, amenazas a la institucionalidad o golpes a la transparencia en los gobiernos del Triángulo Norte: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras.

El listado es sólo una primera parte

Según funcionarios de la Administración Biden, la lista emitida el jueves se seguirá ampliando y los nombres de quienes la engrosen se irán conociendo a medida las diferentes agencias del Ejecutivo remitan otros casos al Congreso

Report to Congress on Foreign Persons who have Knowingly Engaged in Actions that Undermine Democratic Processes or Institutions, Significant Corruption, or Obstruction of Investigations into Such Corruption in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras Section 353(b) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2021 (Div. FF, P.L. 116-260)


Consistent with Section 353(b) of the United States – Northern Triangle Enhanced Engagement Act (Div. FF, P.L. 116-260), this report is being submitted to the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, House Committee on the Judiciary, and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.
Consistent with the requirements of Section 353(b), this report identifies the following persons in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras: (1) foreign persons determined to have knowingly engaged in actions that undermine democratic processes or institutions; (2) foreign persons determined to have knowingly engaged in significant corruption; and (3) foreign persons determined to have knowingly engaged in obstruction of investigations into such acts of corruption, including the following: corruption related to government contracts; bribery and extortion; the facilitation or transfer of the proceeds of corruption, including through money laundering; and acts of violence, harassment, or intimidation directed at governmental and nongovernmental corruption investigators.
Consistent with the requirements of Section 353, foreign persons listed in this report are generally ineligible for visas and admission to the United States. Foreign persons listed in this report shall have their visas revoked immediately and any other valid visa or entry documentation will be cancelled, absent an exception or national security interest waiver.1 Consistent with Section 353(g), this report will be published in the Federal Register. The report includes individuals for whom the Department is aware of credible information or allegations of the conduct at issue, from media reporting and other sources. The Department will continue to review the individuals listed in the report and consider all available tools to deter and disrupt corrupt, undemocratic activity in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The Department also continues to actively review additional credible information and allegations concerning corruption and to utilize all applicable authorities, as appropriate, to ensure corrupt officials are denied safe haven in the United States.

El Salvador
Walter René Araujo Morales, former member and president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, undermined democratic processes or institutions by calling for insurrection against the Legislative Assembly and repeatedly threatening political candidates.
Pablo Salvador Anliker Infante, former Minister of Agriculture, engaged in significant corruption by misappropriating public funds for his personal benefit.
Conan Tonathiu Castro Ramírez, current Legal Advisor to the President, undermined democratic processes or institutions by assisting in the inappropriate removal of five Supreme Court Magistrates and the Attorney General.
Óscar Rolando Castro, Minister of Labor, obstructed investigations into corruption and undermined democratic processes or institutions in efforts to damage his political opponents.
Osiris Luna Meza, Vice Minister of Security and Director of Prisons, has engaged in significant corruption related to government contracts and bribery during his term in office.
1 The Department notes that there appears to be a drafting error in section 353(d)(2), the exception to comply with international obligations. The Department intends to apply the exception with respect to subparagraphs (A) and (B) of section 353(d)(1), not “subparagraphs (B) and (C),” including because subparagraph (C) does not exist in the legislation as enacted.

UNCLASSIFIED
José Luis Merino, former Vice Minister for Foreign Investment and Development Financing, engaged in significant corruption during his term in office through bribery. He also participated in a money laundering scheme.


Ezequiel Milla Guerra, former mayor of La Union, engaged in significant corruption by abusing his authority as mayor in the sale of Perico Island to agents of the People’s Republic of China in exchange for personal benefit.

José Aquiles Enrique Rais López engaged in significant corruption and undermined democratic processes or institutions by bribing public officials.

Martha Carolina Recinos de Bernal, current Chief of Cabinet, engaged in significant corruption by misusing public funds for personal benefit. She also participated in a significant money laundering scheme.

Carlos Armando Reyes Ramos, current member of the Legislative Assembly, obstructed investigations into corruption by inappropriately influencing the Supreme Court Magistrate selection process.

Othon Sigfrido Reyes Morales, former legislator from the FMLN party of El Salvador, engaged in significant corruption during his term in office through fraud and misuse of public funds.

Rogelio Eduardo Rivas Polanco, former Minister of Security and Justice, engaged in significant corruption by misappropriating public funds for personal benefit.

Adolfo Salume Artinano, engaged in significant corruption and undermined democratic processes and institutions by bribing a Supreme Court Magistrate to avoid paying a fine.


Luis Guillermo Wellman Carpio, current Magistrate of Supreme Electoral Tribunal, undermined democratic processes or institutions by causing serious and unnecessary delays in election preparations and results tabulation for his personal benefit and allowing Chinese malign influence during the Salvadoran elections.

Guatemala
Gustavo Adolfo Alejos Cambara, former Guatemalan Presidential Chief of Staff, engaged in significant corruption by facilitating payments to congressional representatives and judges on Guatemala’s Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) in order to inappropriately influence the judicial selection process for magistrates to the CSJ and Court of Appeals and secure his future release from prison and the dismissal of corruption charges. He is designated under the Global Magnitsky sanctions program and Section 7031(c) for involvement in significant corruption.


Felipe Alejos Lorenzana, former first secretary of the Guatemalan Congress, has engaged in significant corruption. While acting in his official capacity, Mr. Alejos was involved in corrupt acts to enrich himself, while also seriously harming U.S. businesses’ international economic activity. He is designated under the Global Magnitsky sanctions program and Section 7031(c) for involvement in significant corruption.

Delia Bac Alvarado, former congressional representative, engaged in significant corruption through her misuse of public funds for personal benefit. She is designated under Section 7031(c) for involvement in significant corruption.
Florencio Carrascoza Gamez, current mayor of Joyabaj, undermined democratic processes or institutions by intimidating and unjustly imprisoning political opponents.

Alvaro Colom Caballeros, former president, engaged in significant corruption when he participated in fraud and embezzlement involving a new bus system in Guatemala City known as Transurbano.

Manuel Duarte Barrera, currently on the Supreme Court, has undermined democratic processes or institutions by abusing his authority to inappropriately influence and manipulate the appointment of judges to high court positions.

Boris Roberto Espana Caceres, current congressional representative in the Guatemalan Congress, engaged in significant corruption when he participated in influence peddling and bribery

Mario Amilcar Estrada Orellana, former congressional representative, engaged in significant corruption and was sentenced by U.S. courts for seeking millions from Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel to finance political campaigns.

Raul Amilcar Falla Ovalle, a lawyer for the NGO Fundacion Contra el Terrorismo (Foundation Against Terrorism – FCT), attempted to delay or obstruct criminal proceedings against former military officials who had committed acts of violence, harassment, or intimidation against governmental and nongovernmental corruption investigators.

Moises Eduardo Galindo Ruiz, an attorney with the NGO FCT, attempted to delay or obstruct criminal proceedings against former military officials who had committed acts of violence, harassment, or intimidation against governmental and nongovernmental corruption investigators, as well as the work of the Special Prosecutor’s Office Against Impunity (FEC

Juan Carlos Godinez Rodriguez, lawyer and former member of a congressional commission in charge of selecting Supreme Court magistrates, undermined democratic processes or institutions by abusing his authority to inappropriately influence and manipulate the appointment of judges to high court positions.

Gustavo Adolfo Herrera Castillo, political operative and businessman, undermined democratic processes or institutions by abusing his authority to inappropriately influence and manipulate the appointment of judges to high court positions.

Ricardo Rafael Mendez Ruiz Valdez, the founder and legal representative of the NGO FCT, attempted to delay or obstruct criminal proceedings against former military officials who had committed acts of violence, harassment, or intimidation against governmental and nongovernmental corruption investigators.


Mynor Mauricio Moto Morataya, selected in January 2021 to fill a vacant seat on the country’s Constitutional Court, undermined processes or institutions and engaged in significant corruption when he obstructed justice and received bribes in return for a favorable legal decision.

Alejandro Jorge Sinbaldi Aparicio, former Minister of Communications, Infrastructure, and Housing, engaged in significant corruption when he participated in bribery and illegal electoral financing, and the laundering of the proceeds of corruption for personal gain. He is designated under Section 7031(c) for involvement in significant corruption.

Guillermo Estuardo de Jesus Sosa Rodriguez, former Vice Minister of Communications, engaged in significant corruption when he participated in bribery schemes, including involvement in a criminal structure that pressured, collected, and deposited bribes from state contractors in exchange for personal benefits.
Blanca Aida Stalling Davila, former Supreme Court Justice, engaged in significant corruption by participating in bribery schemes and inappropriately influencing the judicial branch. She is designated under Section 7031(c) for involvement in significant corruptio

Elder de Jesús Súchite Vargas, former Minister of Culture, engaged in significant corruption related to government contracts and influence peddling for personal gain.
Jorge Estuardo Vargas Morales, current congressional representative, engaged in significant corruption and undermined democratic processes or institutions when he engaged in bribery, coercion, and influence peddling.


Nester Mauricio Vasquez Pimentel, currently on the Supreme Court, has undermined democratic processes or institutions by abusing his authority to inappropriately influence and manipulate the appointment of judges to high court positions.


Honduras
Gustavo Alberto Perez, current congressional representative, has engaged in significant corruption. He was indicted in the Arca Abierta MACCIH-investigated corruption case for embezzling $800,000 from various government agencies.
Marco Antonio Bogran Corrales, former director of INVEST-H, engaged in significant corruption by misappropriating public funds during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rosa Elena Bonilla de Lobo, former first lady, engaged in significant corruption through fraud and misappropriation of public funds

Augusto Domingo Cruz Asensio, former member of congress, engaged in significant corruption by misappropriating funds from the public Generacion employment program to personal accounts.

Jose Celin Discua Elvir, current congressional representative, engaged in significant corruption when he misappropriated funds from the Secretariat of Agriculture to political campaigns.


Rodolfo Irias Navas, current congressional representative, engaged in significant corruption when he misappropriated funds from the Secretariat of Agriculture to political campaigns.

Eleazar Alexander Juarez Sarabia, former member of congress, engaged in significant corruption by misappropriating funds from a public pest control program in his home department of Valle to his personal accounts.


Jose Porfirio “Pepe” Lobo Sosa, former president of Honduras, engaged in significant corruption while president when he accepted bribes from the narco-trafficking organization Los Cachiros in exchange for political favors.

Gladys Aurora Lopez, member of the Honduran National Congress Executive Board, engaged in significant corruption. He was indicted in the Arca Abierta MACCIH-investigated corruption case for embezzling $800,000 from various government agencies.

Miguel Edgardo Martinez Pineda, current congressional representative engaged in significant corruption. He was indicted in the Pandora MACCIH corruption case in June 2018 for misappropriating $12.5 million in public funds from the Secretariat of Agriculture to political campaigns for personal gain.


Sara Ismela Medina Galo, member of congress, obstructed investigations into corruption in her role as Secretary of Congress.

Oscar Najera, current congressional representative, engaged in significant corruption related to the Cachiros narcotrafficking organization. He was designated under Section 7031(c) for involvement in significant corruption.

Hector Enrique Padilla Hernandez, former member of congress, engaged in significant corruption by misappropriating funds from the publicly funded Limpieza de Solares y Calles development project in his home department of Choluteca to his personal accounts.

Milton Jesus Puerto Oseguera, current congressional representative, engaged in significant corruption. He was indicted in the Arca Abierta MACCIH-investigated corruption case for embezzling $800,000 from various government agencies.

Audelia Rodriguez Rodrigo, current member of congress, engaged in significant corruption by misappropriating funds from the publicly funded Limpieza de Solares y Calles development project to her personal accounts.

Dennys Antonio Sanchez Fernandez, current member of congress, engaged in significant corruption by misappropriating funds from a public pest control program in his home department of Santa Barbara to his personal accounts.

Elvin Ernesto Santo Ordonez, current congressional representative, engaged in significant corruption when he misappropriated funds from the Secretariat of Agriculture to political campaigns.

Juan Carlos Valenzuela Molina, current congressional representative. He was indicted in the Arca Abierta MACCIH-investigated corruption case for embezzling $800,000 from various government agencies.

Elden Vasquez, current congressional representative, engaged in significant corruption through the misappropriation of $12.5 million from the Secretariat of Agriculture to political campaigns for his personal gain. He was indicted in the Pandora MACCIH-investigated corruption case in June 2018.

Welsy Milena Vasquez Lopez, current congressional representative, engaged in significant corruption including embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds for personal gain. He was indicted in the Arca Abierta MACCIH-investigated corruption case for embezzling $800,000 from various government agencies.

Roman Villeda Aguilar, member of congress, obstructed investigations into corruption, which resulted in the dismissal of an embezzlement case against several congressman who were under investigation for redirecting money to a fake NGO.

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