Ernesto Muyshondt, or Neto Muyshondt, is the ex-mayor of San Salvador. Muyshondt was elected in 2018 to serve his first term as mayor of the most prestigious City Hall in the country. Muyshondt lost reelection on February 28, 2021, to Mario Duran.
Ernesto Muyshondt was born in San Salvador on August 30, 1975. Ernesto’s parents are Ernesto Muyshondt Parker and María Antonieta García Prieto de Muyshondt; his father was one of the principal cotton producers, in El Salvador, in the 1980s, during the Salvadoran civil war.
Political Career of Ernesto Muyshondt
From an early age, Ernesto Muyshondt has been connected with the right-wing political party, ARENA. His family was close friends with Roberto D’Aubuisson, the original founder of the right-wing political party.
Throughout his life, Ernesto Muyshondt has been involved with ARENA in different positions. Muyshondt’s most prominent position in Salvadoran politics has been as a deputy in the Legislative Assembly and the mayor of San Salvador.
Deputy or Congressmen from 2015 to 2018
Muyshondt served as a deputy of the Legislative Assembly in the legislative period from 2015 to 2018. His seat represented the department of San Salvador under the ARENA political flag.
Mayor of San Salvador. 2018 to 2021
In the 2018 elections, Muyshondt defeated the FMLN candidate Jackeline Rivera and became mayor of the country’s most prominent City Hall, in the country.
During his time as mayor of the capital, Muyshondt was one of the most popular politicians in El Salvador. According to many respected polls, only President Nayib Bukele was more popular than him.
Accused of Alleged Gang Negotiations
In early 2020, Salvadoran prosecutor Raul Melara accused Ernesto Muyshondt, and six other individuals, of electoral fraud and illicit group association.
These accusations originated from the 2014 presidential campaign when Muyshondt allegedly met with gang members and paid them money to vote for Norman Quijano, the presidential candidate for the right-wing political party ARENA.
Quijano and ARENA lost the presidential elections in a second round by a small margin to Salvador Sanchez Ceren of the FMLN.
Muyshondt does not deny that the meeting took place or that it gave money to gang members. There are videos where you can see the capital’s mayor talking with gang members and with cash in front of him.
However, Muyshondt and ARENA say that the money was not to pay for votes, but rather the money was for gang members to allow citizens to vote.
Because of the coronavirus in the El Salvador pandemic, the trial process against Ernesto Muyshondt and the other defendants has been delayed; it is unclear when it will continue.
Muyshondt was an influential person in Salvadoran politics until his arrest; he was also a consequential member of the right-wing political party and also a close ally of former President Alfredo Cristiani.
Currently, Ernesto Muyshondt is in jail awaiting trial for different charges related to San Salvador city hall employee funds and negotiation with gangs.