The United States government has provided millions of dollars as well as weapons to the Salvadoran elite police units that are accused of illegally executing alleged criminals, the CNN broadcaster reported on Wednesday, citing multiple sources.
The US actions may come under worldwide scrutiny as the United Nations forthcoming report in June will accuse El Salvador’s police of “a pattern of behavior by security personnel amounting to extrajudicial executions,” the broadcaster has learned.
The United States has provided almost $68 million of aid to the police of the Latin American country in 2016 and around $73 million last year, although from the public documents it is unclear which police units have received the aid, according to the media outlet.
One of the units, called the Special Reaction Forces (FES), is responsible for the killing of 43 alleged gang members in 2017 without prosecution. The spokesperson of the US Embassy to El Salvador has confirmed that funding was provided to FES, which has since been disbanded.
The United States’ aid to the law enforcement agencies of El Salvador is aimed at the fight against MS-13, previously known as La Mara Salvatrucha, an international gang based in the Latin American country. It was designated a transnational criminal organization in 2012.