Jose Luis Merino, also known as Ramiro Vasquez, is a major political leader in El Salvador who currently holds the title of vice minister in the office of Foreign Affairs for El Salvador. Merino is a member of one of the most influential political parties in the country, the FMLN, and he is currently being invested from several angles due to a common belief that he has ties with international criminal organizations.
Several members of the US congress have recently called upon the US Treasury Department to begin an investigation into Merino because of their suspicions that he is actively supporting criminal organizations throughout El Salvador, as well as outside the country. If their suspicions are true, it would mean that telling the difference between friend and foe while doing business in El Salvador could prove to be quite difficult. In general, it is becoming a must when in the country to obtain Security Services, El Salvador is not likely to become any more peaceful anytime soon, as we can see from these allegations.
The reasoning for Congress to request the investigation does not come unfounded. In the request that the Congress members made to the Treasury office, they stated that there is evidence of funds in the millions of dollars which are being laundered through various channels, as well as being used to support crime, FARC, and other corrupt offices of government. The money isn’t the only thing that concerns the Congress members, either. There are several open investigations being carried out currently by the FBI and DEA which directly target the organizations said to be linked to Mr. Merino.