Ernesto Muyshondt, Former Mayor of San Salvador faces a preliminary hearing

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Mar 25th, 2023
Ernesto Muyshondt
Ernesto Muyshondt at a September 2021 hearing.

This Friday, March 24, Ernesto Muyshondt, the former mayor of San Salvador, faced a Preliminary Hearing. He is being charged for the improper appropriation of tax withholdings for an amount of $275,145.31.

According to the Attorney General’s Office, ex-mayor Ernesto Muyshont, with the former municipal treasurer Fernando Heriberto Portillo, and the director of Solid Waste Francisco Jose Rivera Chacon, allegedly withheld and kept income tax of $275,145.31 from June to December 2020.

This morning, former mayor Ernesto Muyshondt, Francisco José Rivera, and Fernando Portillo face a Preliminary Hearing. They are prosecuted for the crime of Improper Appropriation of Withholdings or Tax Perceptions, for an amount of $275,145.31.
Attorney General of the Republic of El Salvador.

The Salvadoran Police arrested Ernesto Muyshondt, the former mayor of San Salvador, on June 4, 2021, for misappropriation of employee earnings. The arrest order was issued by the office of the Salvadoran attorney General.

Muyshondt’s arrest took place at the Isidro Menéndez Judicial Center. The former mayor was at a hearing related to another charge the former mayor was facing.

I am being arrested by orders of Bukele,” said the mayor as he was being taken into custody. “I am the first political prisoner in El Salvador under the Bukele regimen.Ernesto Muyshondt

Ernesto Muyshondt
Ernesto Muyshondt & Luis Almagro

Chamber Revokes Muyshondt’s House Arrest

October 2nd, 2021

On October 2nd, 2021, The 3rd Criminal Chamber reversed the decision to grant house arrest to former mayor Ernesto Muyshondt. The former San Salvador mayor will remain confined in jail, awaiting trial.

The Judges cited the impossibility of complying with house arrest by having the police monitor the defendant’s properties. They also mentioned that the defendant is facing multiple charges in different courts.

Ernesto Muyshondt will remain at the Mariona Penal Center until the completion of all his trials.

Chamber Orders House Arrest for Ernesto Muyshondt on New Charge

September 16th, 2021

This Thursday, September 16th, 2021, the Seventh Court of Peace approved house arrest for the former mayor of San Salvador, Ernesto Muyshondt.

This ruling came as a result of a new criminal charge filed by the Prosecutor’s Office of El Salvador against the former city mayor.

The FGR added a charge of breach of duties to Ernesto Muyshondt. This charge is in addition to three other legal charges filed against him in the last four months.

According to the Attorney General, the former mayor knew of the non-payment of salary deductions but didn’t do anything about it.

The Seventh Court of Peace approved house arrest for Ernesto Muyshondt on the charge of breach of duties. However, the Attorney General Office said it would appeal the chamber’s ruling.

The FGR does not share the resolution issued by the 7th Court of the Peace of San Salvador against Ernesto Muyshondt; accused of Breach of Duties, for the withholding of $5,000,000 for labor fees. For which we will file an appeal.”
Attorney General of El Salvador

Chamber Amends House Arrest for Ernesto Muyshondt

September 6th, 2021

On September 6th, 2021, the 3rd Criminal Chamber of San Salvador issued a new ruling regarding Muyshondt’s house arrest.

The chamber amended their previous ruling that Muyshondt should wear a security bracelet while under house arrest.

The chamber stated that Muyshondt was to be under house arrest but with police surveillance instead of a bracelet.

The chamber ruled on July 30th house arrest for the former mayor; however, due to not having bracelets, he was still in jail as of September 7th.

Chamber Orders House Arrest for Ernesto Muyshondt

July 30th, 2021

On July 30th, 2021, the 3rd Criminal Chamber of San Salvador revoked the provisional detention of the former mayor of San Salvador Ernesto Muyshondt and ordered him to leave Mariona prison for house arrest.

Muyshondt must use an electronic bracelet while under house arrest. Furthermore, the former mayor must pay a $50,000 bail bond.

The news, which emerged this Friday, arrived 42 days after Muyshondt was transferred to sector 9 of the La Esperanza Penal Center (Mariona).

The General Directorate of Penal Centers (DGCP) reported on the same day, Friday, July 30th, that it couldn’t comply with the order to remove former mayor Ernesto Muyshondt from prison. The reason given was that electronic bracelets were not available.

If we receive it, [Judge orders], we will inform the court of the impossibility of executing the measure because electronic bracelets are not available. The inmate Ernesto Muyshondt will continue to be held in sector 9 of the La Esperanza prison, known as Mariona.”
General Directorate of Penal Centers.

According to the General Directorate of Penal Centers, Ernesto Muyshondt would remain in jail until the bracelet issue was resolved.

Ernesto Muyshondt Bail Hearing

June 14th, 201

On June 15, the Third Court of San Salvador denied Ernesto Muyshondt bail and ordered provisional detention. The former mayor will remain in jail for the duration of his trial.

Muyshondt stated that the judge in the case was pressured by Labor Minister Rolando Castro to deny him bail. In brief statements to reporters, while being taken away from court, Muyshondt announced that he was going to begin a hunger strike so that the world knows what we are living in El Salvador.

The former mayor said he felt persecuted by the government of President Nayib Bukele. Muyshondt claims that he is a political prisoner and a victim of the new system that El Salvador is experiencing.

On June 18, the former mayor of San Salvador was transferred to La Esperanza Penal Center, also known as Mariona prison; he will stay there while on trial.

Ernesto Muyshondt
Ernesto Muyshondt, former mayor of San Salvador.

Ernesto Muyshondt Arrest

June 4th, 2021

On June 4th, 2021, the Salvadoran Police arrested the former mayor of San Salvador Ernesto Muyshondt for tax withholding misappropriation while serving as mayor of the nation’s capital.

According to city hall workers, through their payroll, the ex-mayor authorized the deduction of withholdings; however, the administration of the Mayor’s Office of San Salvador did not distribute that money to financial institutions.

The FGR links Muyshondt with the misappropriation of tax withholding of 45 city-hall employees for $678,684.67.

In response to an administrative arrest warrant issued by the FGR, we have arrested the former mayor of San Salvador for a new crime, who is being accused of misappropriation of withholdings or tax receipts to the detriment of the Public Treasury.
PNC El Salvador

Minutes before his arrest, a Judge had ordered house arrest for Muyshondt on the charges of negotiating with gangs.

Muyshondt will remain in police custody until his formal arraignment. At this time, a judge will decide whether to grant Muyshondt bail.

OEA to Hire Ernesto Muyshondt

June 3rd, 2021

Ernesto Muyshondt’s arrest came a day after Luis Almagro, secretary-general of the OAS, announced that he had hired the former mayor as an advisor.

“Ernesto Muyshondt has agreed to join as an advisor to the General Secretariat of the OEA.
Luis Almagro.

The Almagro announcement caused condemnation in El Salvador. There is no secret the former mayor is facing charges for giving money to gang leaders in exchange for votes in the 2014 Salvadoran presidential elections.

Ernesto Muyshondt has, in TV interviews, accepted that he gave money to gangs on behalf of the right-wing political party ARENA. Also, there is a video and audio of the former mayor giving money to gang members and talking to them.

After the arrest of Muyshondt and the announcement by Almagro, President Nayib Bukele and the El Salvador attorney general announced that they were cutting all ties to Almagro.

The Salvadorans with principles felt a slap when they saw yesterday that Luis Almagro was hiring Ernesto Muyshondt; someone who negotiated with the lives of families, of the people.
President Nayib Bukele.