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El Salvador's former first lady sentenced to prison

June 5, 2021

Former first lady Ana Ligia de Saca, who was found guilty of illicit enrichment, has been ordered to repay $17.6 million to the state. Her husband, former President Tony Saca, is already serving a 10-year sentence.

Former President of El Salvador Tony Saca and his wife, Ana Ligia de Saca in 2009.  (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, File)
The former president is already serving a ten year sentence.Image: Dario Lopez-Mills/AP/picture alliance

El Salvador's former first lady Ana Ligia de Saca has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after being found guilty of illicit enrichment. The court also ordered her to repay $17.6 million (€ 14.5 million) to the government.

Ana Ligia de Saca's brother Oscar Edgardo Sol Mixco had received a similar sentence earlier. 

Former president already in prison

Her husband, former President Tony Saca, is already in prison for crimes during his term in office from 2004 to 2009. He has been ordered to return $260 million (€214 million) to the government.

Saca was the first Salvadoran president to be found guilty of corruption. He was convicted in September 2018 after pleading guilty in connection with the diversion of more than $300 million from government coffers to benefit his businesses and third parties.

Courts said Saca could not explain the origin of $6.5 million in income while he was president. He also remains barred from holding public office for 10 years.

Two other former presidents of El Salvador, Francisco Flores and Mauricio Funes, have also been accused of corruption.

The Central American nation has been marked with political unrest and social inequality. Nayib Bukele, a former mayor of San Salvador, became president in 2019, ending almost three decades of a two-party system led by the Nationalist Republican Alliance and the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front. 

tg/rc (dpa, AP)