David Munguía Payés made his way into President Funes’ inner circle with two promises: to guarantee the army’s peacefulness and obedience to the country’s first leftist government in history and to protect it from the FMLN, with whom it kept up a test of strength over power.
Funes increased the defense budget and General Munguía Payés renovated the motor pool and improved conditions for the troops. He took control of the high command and broadened the range of military functions taken on after the end of the armed conflict.
So he placed the military in national intelligence, in police intelligence and in police management after his move into the Ministry of Public Safety, which he also militarized. Then he negotiated with the gangs in a controversial process, all with President Funes’ approval. Until the Supreme Court removed him from Public Safety and, even so, Funes gave him back his post in Defense, where he is currently operating. (more…)