You are here

El Salvador 3/21/2023

Sr. Rodolfo Delgado

Fiscal General de la República (FGR)

Calle Cortéz Blanco Poniente No. 20,

Edificio Farmavida, Urb. Madre Selva 3

Antiguo Cuscatlán

San Salvador, El Salvador

March 21, 2023


Dear Attorney General:

We write today in protest of the political persecution and misogynistic attacks against Lorena Guadalupe Peña Mendoza, the former president of the National Legislative Assembly, a lifelong feminist activist, and a leader within the political party FMLN (Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional).

Last month, the Supreme Court of Justice announced a civil case against Lorena Peña on charges of financial misconduct during her tenure as the FMLN’s Cultural Secretariat. On March 7, the Office of the Attorney General filed a civil lawsuit against Lorena Peña and her daughter, “accused of enriching themselves with 277,482.54 dollars from the State." We also understand that the Office of the Attorney General was notified that it could proceed in opening a criminal case for illicit self-enrichment. Lorena Peña is in danger of being unjustly imprisoned.

Lorena Peña has already presented all the required evidence to absolve her of the baseless accusations. She is being threatened with arrest for non-criminal charges of an administrative nature. We are concerned that the Salvadoran judicial system has become a weapon of persecution against President Bukele’s political opponents. Since the president illegally removed and replaced the five magistrates of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice in May 2021, there have been subsequent removals, replacements, and transfers of judges and prosecutors across the country, in violation of the Constitution.    The constitutional guarantee of due process for the citizens of El Salvador is being threatened.  

We strongly urge that the government of El Salvador:

  • immediately drop the civil case of corruption against Lorena Guadalupe Peña Mendoza and her daughter
  • not pursue any criminal charges against Lorena Guadalupe Peña Mendoza or her daughter
  • respect and uphold the right to due process for Lorena Guadalupe Peña Mendoza and her daughter
  • stop using the power of the judiciary and the Office of the Attorney General to persecute political opponents of the Bukele Administration




Brian J. Stefan Szittai               Christine Stonebraker-Martínez


copies:      Sr. Presidente Nayib Bukele, Presidente de la República ~ via email and US mail

José Apolonio Tobar Serrano, Procurador para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos/ Human Rights Ombudsman of El Salvador ~ via email

Carmen Milena Mayorga de Monterrosa, Ambassador of El Salvador in Washington, DC ~ via email & US mail

Julissa Mantilla Falcón, Rapporteur for El Salvador, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ~ via email & US mail

Katherine Duffy Dueholm, Charge d’Affaires ad interim of the United States Embassy in San Salvador ~ via email & US mail

US State Department: Lisa Spink at the El Salvador Desk ~ via email

US Senators Brown & Vance ~ via email

US Representatives Balderson, Beatty, Brown, Johnson, Jordan, Joyce, Kaptur, Latta, Miller, Sykes ~ via email

03 MAR 2023_CISPES_El Salvador