Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gilberto Soto murder still has open questions

I had the pleasure of meeting with Ernesto Rivas Gallont when I was in San Salvador last week. He was El Salvador's ambassador to the US during the 1980's, and now is a newspaper columnist, blogger, and wise observer of current events in the country. I'll be touching on some of the topics we discussed in upcoming posts.

In Don Ernesto's regular Sunday column in La Prensa Grafica this Sunday, he brought up the still unresolved (except in the view of the PNC) case of Gilberto Soto. Soto was a Teamsters union organizer from the US who was killed while visiting his mother in El Salvador. The column includes the text of a letter to president Tony Saca from US Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, pushing for a reopened investigation into the Soto murder:

According to information I have received, a recent motion in the National Assembly which called for a new investigation of the Soto case was opposed, and defeated, by your government. This concerns me, and I urge you to reconsider this decision. At a time when the United States is providing substantial amounts of assistance to El Salvador through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, and is posed to provide additional assistance through the Merida Initiative, it is imperative that everything possible be done to conduct a thorough, credible, and transparent investigation of this crime and punish those responsible.
Ernesto Rivas suggests something new in his blog -- perhaps there is a link in this murder to organized crime and rug trafficking:
¿Qué hubo y qué hay detrás de este asesinato? ¿Qué sabía Soto de lo que ocurre en los oscuros rincones del crimen, tráfico de drogas y lavado de dinero en El Salvador? ¿Está relacionado ese asesinato con Roberto Silva Pereira, algunos diputados, Reynerio y los Perrones? ¿Por qué la insistencia de Estados Unidos? Poco a poco la madeja se va desarrollando y lo que presagia no es nada bueno.

What has been and is behind this assassination? What did Soto know of that which goes on in the dark corners of crime, drug trafficking and money laundering in El Salvador? Is this murder related to Roberto Silve Pereira, some legislators, Reynerio and the Perrones [various figures linked to drug trafficking and organized crime in the country]? Why the insistence of the United States? Little by little the ball of string is unravelling and what it presages is nothing good.

More than 3 1/2 years after Soto's murder, there seem to be more questions, not less.

2 comments:

chishi said...

Anything is possible in any murder case, and El Salvador's judicial system has many grave flaws. Hopefully the murder of that Salvadoran-American union leader can be solved.

Having said that, I wonder, until when are we going to have the self-righteous US pressuring El Salvador to act as the US wishes to?

Ambassadors, senators, threatening to take away the millenium account, and worse of all the Merida Innitiative, which only favors the US for its security contents.

And yet, has any one of those ambassadors and senators raised their voice, while employed by the US government, to decry the illegal, inhumane treatment of our deportees and even of those imprisoned, with contempt for the international system in Guantanamo?.

We should question that in the proper fora, I think.

And Mr. Rivas Gallont, while he is a has-been of salvadoran diplomacy in its darkest ours, it seems that his blog concentrates on ventilating political gossip which sometimes has no contact with the truth.

Now, and because Rivas Gallont says so, this Union-Leader was a cloak and dagger james-bond-like man who was involved in high stake levels of the drug trafficking in Central America, and not just a simple hermano lejano former mojado visiting his mom and childhood friends.

Rivas Gallont could spare us the conspiracy theories.

Regards,

El-Visitador said...

«Rivas Gallont could spare us the conspiracy theories.»

Couldn't agree more.

Occam's razor applies here. Ten people/day get murdered in El Salvador, including poor people, rich people, immigrants, visiting emigrés, tourists, young, old, lefties, righties, people who work for the government, people who work with the government, and people who work against the government.

This is the sad harvest of having too few policemen, too few courts and court resources, too few jails, and European-style crime penalties that are basically slaps in the hand.