Three Suspects Charged in Killing of El Salvador Leftist Activists

A hearse arrives to a home in rural El Salvador to take the body of a Covid-19 victim to the cemetery. (Courthouse News photo/Miguel Patricio)

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AFP) — Three men have been charged after a deadly weekend shooting in El Salvador saw two leftist activists killed in the worst political attack in decades.

The attack came as campaigning for February 28 legislative and local elections in the small central American nation enters its final weeks.

The members of the National Liberation Front (FMLN) leftist party were shot dead in a truck while they campaigned in the capital San Salvador on Sunday.

Three men — Diego Alvarado Pena, Hector Castaneda, and Roberto Carlos Coto — were charged on Wednesday with “aggravated homicide and attempted homicide”, attorney general Raul Melara told a press conference.

He added that all three were employees of the Ministry of Health.

Pena, currently recovering from a gunshot wound in hospital, was unable to attend a court hearing.

“Regardless of their political leanings, those were two Salvadorans who died on Sunday and we should all be dismayed,” the prosecutor said of the FMLN activists.

Melara added that the FBI in the United States had offered to “contribute” to the investigation.

El Salvador’s highest electoral body, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, has asked the United Nations, European Union and Organization of American States to hasten sending observers for the elections.

Campaigning for the polls began on December 27 and will end three days before the vote.

About 5.4 million Salvadorians will vote for 10 political groups, electing representatives for Congress as well as 262 mayors and their municipal councils.

President Nayib Bukele’s New Ideas party currently leads in the polls. 

© Agence France-Presse

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