Jean Manes requested the release of the former mayor of San Salvador, Ernesto Muyshondt, prosecuted for negotiations with gangs.

President Bukele stated that the United States government does not accept collaboration, friendship, or alliance, only absolute submission. He revealed a conversation with the former charge d’affaires, after being accused by an official of being a liar.

During her time serving as the Chargé d’ affaires to El Salvador,
Jean Manes explicitly requested the release of Ernesto Muyshondt from La Esperanza prison, known as Mariona to continue under house arrest. Ernesto, formerly mayor of San Salvador is being prosecuted for breach of duties, electoral fraud, and unlawful associations.

It was the president who made the WhatsApp conversation with Manes public, after a Tweet from the US Undersecretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Brian A. Nichols, calling president Bukele a liar after posting on social media the four requests that Manes made to favor Salvadoran politicians, mainly from the ARENA political party, including Muyshondt, even when he is involved in irregular processes.

Nichols says the allegations were false and unsubstantiated. Bukele questioned that post and disclosed the conversation he had with Manes on July 31, 2021 (according to message dates), in which Manes tells him “Would be in the interests of all of us if the order from the judge is followed” (of sending Muyshondt to house arrest).

President Bukele’s response to this request was that the judge handling the case could order the arrest at home “without a legal condition” to order this alternative measure to imprisonment in jail.

Manes refuted him, arguing that the order was not issued for lack of electronic bracelets for Muyshondt, saying that “[the previous government] spent a large amount of money on those bracelets.”

Bukele replied that the bracelets did not work, but that this would not prevent the magistrates from deciding to send Muyshondt to house arrest. With all these elements it was evidenced that Jean Manes interceded directly for Ernesto Muyshondt and his release from prison.

Apart from that request, the US official made, according to President Bukele, three more requests: not to re-elect Rodolfo Delgado as a general prosecutor, not to prosecute former president Alfredo Cristiani or former general prosecutor Douglas Meléndez nor the people named of receiving unlawful extra salaries during the previous six governments.

Cristiani is accused of making $ 5.5 million of personal profit from the reserved expenses of the presidency (public funds) in the last six months of his term (1989-1994) and was summoned to come forward before the special commission that investigates the delivery of those funds to former officials.

There is a complaint against Douglas Meléndez for the omission of the investigation, for allegedly not investigating events that occurred in 2001 when he was head of the Anti-Corruption Unit of the Prosecutor’s Office, and not investigating embezzlement against the Banco de Fomento Agropecuario allegedly committed by the businessman Enrique Rais.

About the officials who received unlawful extra salaries, several have been identified as being part of the ARENA government administrations. Former vice president Ana Vilma de Escobar and Carlos Quintanilla Schmidt, former secretaries Luis Mario Rodríguez and Rolando Alvarenga and several who served as ministers for the 20 years of governance by ARENA.

About Manes meddling

The president of the Salvadoran senate, Ernesto Castro, stated yesterday that the actions of Jean Manes when she was in charge of US Business In El Salvador, constitute a clear “interference” in judicial processes that are pending resolution.

“President Nayib Bukele has evidence of the intention of the former Chargé d’Affaires of the United States embassy in El Salvador to influence justice processes that are still underway,” Castro posted on Twitter and called for the actions of interference in Salvadoran politics.