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Weekly Report - 25 June 2020 (WR-20-25)

EL SALVADOR: First irregularities linked to pandemic procurement

Boasting that it was the “biggest hospital in Latin America for the exclusive treatment of Covid-19 patients”, President Nayib Bukele inaugurated the first phase of ‘Hospital El Salvador’. The event was overshadowed, however, by a scandal surrounding the purchase of equipment from a company owned by a government official, in apparent breach of a law on government ethics. While similar cases have emerged in Guatemala [WR-20-17], Honduras [WR-20-16] and Panama [WR-20-18], local pro-transparency group Acción Ciudadana describes it as the first such instance in El Salvador related to the pandemic. The official in question has since been sacked but demands are growing for more senior figures to face sanctions.

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