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  • Mauricio Funes during a press conference

    Mauricio Funes during a press conference | Photo: AFP

Published 8 May 2016

Former President Mauricio Funes said that lower court decision to probe case of US$700,000 in unexplained income and expenditures is political vengeance.

Former leftist Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes will soon be in court in a case that alleges corruption. A lower court has agreed to hear a case that deals with US$728,000 in unexplained income and expenditures.

Funes has 20 days to respond to present evidence in his defense, although he has already accused the right-wing opposition of carrying out a political vendetta against him..

But the case not only involves the former president, but also his wife and one of his sons who are under scrutiny. Funes is from the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front, leftist political party that was formed by several guerrilla groups that fought in El Salvador's Civil War, which lasted from 1979 to 1992.

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Funes has said in the past that the judges who voted to order the lower court to open the case in February had previously attacked his government while sitting on the Constitutional Court. He said that the move was a "political vendetta" carried out by opposition right-wing politicians.

The Salvadoran right has previously attached Funes, who was the country's first leftist president. Under his administration, rival gangs Mara Salvatrucha and Barrio 18 signed a 2012 peace treaty that saw homicides cut in half the following year.

Critics said the move was an agreement between the government and criminal organizations, but Funes maintains the government only served as a mediator. He points to the remarkable decrease in homicides as a result of the brokered truce.

The allegations were brought against the former president in a civil court, and no criminal charges are currently pending. If found guilty, Funes will have to pay a fine.

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