Saca González, Elías Antonio

Saca González, Elías Antonio ālēˈäs äntōˈnēō säˈkä gōnsälˈās [key], 1965–, Salvadoran political leader, president of El Salvador (2004–9), b. Usulután. “Tony” Saca worked as a sports commentator and in advertising sales for radio and television, and purchased his first radio station when he was 22. Eventually building a small radio network, he served as president of the Salvadoran Association of Radio Broadcasters (1997–2001) and of the National Private Enterprise Association (2001–4). Saca, a member of the conservative National Republican Alliance (ARENA), had never run for office before his bid for the presidency in 2004. He continued the free-market and pro-United States policies of his predecessor, Francisco Flores Pérez. Saca was an unsuccessful presidential candidate, as a member of the Unity Movement, in 2014. Charged (2016) with corrupt practices during his presidency, he pleaded guilty in 2018 to embezzlement and money laundering and in 2019 to bribery; in 2019 his wife pleaded guilty to corruption charges; and in 2021 both were found guilty of illicit enrichment.

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