During 2009 and 2010, many hand grenade
attacks ocurred in El Salvador. Although we
questioned the minister of Defense several times
about the possibility that the weapons could be
owned by the Armed Forces, he denied it.
In 2011, 8 military men were arrested when they were
trying to extract many grenades previously buried in a
military area. During the same years, a captain was
arrested in USA for selling explosives to a undercover
agent and because he was trying to sell drugs. Other
persons were captured by police for similar offenses in
El Salvador and Honduras.
Two years later, 2013, a source leaked us an
undercover video where a lieutenant was selling 6
pounds of C4 plastic explosive and 2 detonators for
Since 2011, we started to wonder what was going on? Salvadoran
law states (like in many other countries) that the Ministry of
Defense is the only allowed to get and buy war weapons.
Since 2011 we get in touch with key sources, some of them
involved in the investigation of active cases for know and
understand what was going on . We got this by covering some of
the cases constantly in the hearings. We planned a scheddule with
questions and possible sources, and a long To Do list.
We knew that we needed to link some weapons seizures with the
registers of salvadoran armed forces. The main problem was this
information is considered confidential due to national security.
We made many requests of public information:
• 13 full court records of same number of cases in El Salvador (we checked them
one by one)
• 2 requests of public information to Guatemala
• 1 request of public information to Honduras
• 3 requests of public information to Mexico
• 1 request to the salvadoran Ministry of Defense
• 1 request to the salvadoran Supreme Court
• 1 FOIA to US government (that have not answered yet…)
• We travelled to Honduras seeking a court record (and we found it at the Supreme
• We used every public data base to track each suspect and each name related
• We met with a protected witness of one of the cases
We were looking for serial and lot numbers of the weapons to prove
were owned by Ministry of Defense of El Salvador and document the
victims, of course!
We had the opportunity to
check a court record that was