Salvadoran prosecutors present indictment against former officials for Electoral Fraud and gang negotiations

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Jun 25th, 2021
Salvadoran Attorney General's Office prosecutors
Salvadoran Attorney General’s Office prosecutors.

Yesterday, June 24, the Salvadoran Attorney General’s Office presented an indictment against former officials and two others for electoral fraud and negotiating with criminal organizations. The individuals named in the indictment are Benito Lara, Aristides Valencia, Wilson Alvarado, Raul Mijango, Ernesto Muyshondt, and Paolo Lüers.

The initial charges against these six defendants were presented in February 2020; this indictment is part of the next stage of the process.

The prosecutors in the case stated that they have carried out an intense investigation and have enough proof such as documents, testimonials, and expert testimony to prove the charges.

According to investigators, before the 2014 presidential elections, the defendant delivered over $600,000 to gang members belonging to MS-13 and fractions of Barrio-18. The money was to buy the votes of gang members, their families, and others they could influence.

Ernesto Muyshondt, former mayor of San Salvador and high-ranking member of the right-wing political party ARENA, stated in interviews that he delivered some of the money to gang members. Video of a 2014 meeting between Ernesto Muyshondt and gang members was released to the public years ago.

Norman Quijano, another high-ranking member of ARENA and the 2014 presidential candidate involved in the charges, was left out of this indictment. However, on May 6, a Salvadoran judge ordered the arrest of Norman Quijano for illicit activities related to the 2014 presidential elections. Quijano left the country and is now classified as a fugitive.

Ex FMLN deputy Benito Lara, Wilson Alvarado, and El Diario De Hoy writer Paolo Luers are out on bail awaiting trial.

Aristides Valencia, the former Minister of the Interior under the FMLN presidency, was out on bail; however, he left the country and is now a fugitive.

Raul Mijango and Ernesto Muyshondt are both in jail for unrelated legal issues. Raul Mijango is serving a 13-year sentence for extortion. Ernesto Muyshondt is under arrest awaiting trial; he is being charged with the misappropriation of employee funds while serving as mayor of San Salvador.

The Salvadoran Prosecutor’s Office claimed to have abundant evidence to prove the facts of crimes committed and each defendant’s participation.

El Salvador Politics