Mauricio Funes

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Mauricio Funes
Mauricio Funes (Brasilia, May 2008).jpg
Mauricio Funes in Brasilia in May 2008.
44th President of El Salvador
In office
June 1, 2009 June 1, 2014
Vice President Salvador Sánchez Cerén (2009-2014)
Preceded by Elías Antonio Saca
Succeeded by Salvador Sánchez Cerén
Personal details
Born (1959-10-18) October 18, 1959 (age 59)
San Salvador, El Salvador
Political party Independent (2014–present)
Other political
FMLN (2007–2014)
Spouse(s) Vanda Pignato (Separated)
Domestic partnerAda Mitchell Guzmán Sigüenza
Alma mater Central American University

Carlos Mauricio Funes Cartagena (born October 18, 1959) is a Salvadoran politician who was President of El Salvador from June 1, 2009 to June 1, 2014. He won the 2009 presidential election as the candidate of the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) political party and took office on June 1, 2009.

President of El Salvador office of the head of state of El Salvador, created in the Constitution of 1841 (during 1821–1841, the head of state of El Salvador was styled simply as Head of State [Jefe de Estado])

The President of El Salvador officially known as the President of the Republic of El Salvador is the head of state of El Salvador. The office was created in the Constitution of 1841. From 1821 until 1841, the head of state of El Salvador was styled simply as Head of State.

El Salvador country in Central America

El Salvador, officially the Republic of El Salvador, is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. It is bordered on the northeast by Honduras, on the northwest by Guatemala, and on the south by the Pacific Ocean. El Salvador's capital and largest city is San Salvador. As of 2016, the country had a population of approximately 6.34 million.

Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism, often in opposition to social hierarchy. It typically involves a concern for those in society whom its adherents perceive as disadvantaged relative to others (prioritarianism) as well as a belief that there are unjustified inequalities that need to be reduced or abolished. The term left-wing can also refer to "the radical, reforming, or socialist section of a political party or system".


Early life and education

Funes was born in San Salvador. He received his High School Diploma (Bachillerato) from the Externado San José, [1] and studied at Universidad Centroamericana "José Simeón Cañas"(UCA) but did not graduate. [2] Both Externado and UCA are Jesuit institutions, something that has deeply influenced president Funes. In this respect, Funes has mentioned his relationship to the Jesuits murdered by the Salvadoran military in 1989 as of particular significance in his professional and personal development. [3] In 1994 he was awarded the Maria Moors Cabot prize from Columbia University for promoting press freedom and inter-American understanding. [4]

San Salvador National capital in San Salvador Department, El Salvador

San Salvador is the capital and the most populous city of El Salvador and its eponymous department. It is the country's political, cultural, educational and financial center. The Metropolitan Area of San Salvador which comprises the capital itself and 13 of its municipalities has a population of 2,404,097.

Externado San José

Externado San Jose is a private, Catholic, primary and secondary school run by the Society of Jesus in San Salvador, El Salvador. It began in 1921 as San Jose Seminary to which "outsiders" were later admitted. When the seminarians moved to a new facility the remaining school became an "externado". In 2015 Externado was ranked fourth among 440 schools in El Salvador by the University of El Salvador on the basis of test scores, and had a larger enrollment than the first three schools combined.

During the Salvadoran Civil War, on 16 November 1989, Salvadoran Army soldiers killed six Jesuits and two others at their residence on the campus of José Simeón Cañas Central American University in San Salvador, El Salvador. The Jesuits were advocates of a negotiated settlement between the government of El Salvador and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), the guerilla organization that had fought the government for a decade. The murders attracted international attention to the Jesuits' efforts and increased international pressure for a cease-fire, representing one of the key turning points that led toward a negotiated settlement to the war.

Funes' brother was killed during the Salvadoran Civil War. [5] His oldest son, Alejandro Funes Velasco, who was 27 years old, died after being attacked in Paris, where he was studying photography. [6]

Salvadoran Civil War 1979-1992 civil war in El Salvador

The Salvadoran Civil War was a conflict between the military-led government of El Salvador and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), a coalition or "umbrella organization" of left-wing groups. A coup on October 15, 1979 was followed by killings of anti-coup protesters by the government and of anti-disorder protesters by the guerrillas, and is widely seen as the tipping point toward civil war.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

Photography Art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation

Photography is the art, application and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film. It is employed in many fields of science, manufacturing, and business, as well as its more direct uses for art, film and video production, recreational purposes, hobby, and mass communication.

Career in journalism

Prior to his involvement with politics of El Salvador, Funes was a journalist who hosted a popular interview show on television. [7] He made appearances on Channel 12 and CNN en Español, [8] and also hosted local news programs which were critical of previous governments. He was a reporter during the Salvadoran Civil War and interviewed leftist rebel leaders. It was during this time that he became more sympathetic to leftists in El Salvador, and he considers himself to be center-left. [5]

Politics of El Salvador

Politics of El Salvador takes place in land a framework of A presidential representative democratic republic, whereby the President of El Salvador is both head of state and head of government, and of an Executive power is exercised by the government.

Journalist person who collects, writes and distributes news and other information

A journalist is a person who collects, writes, or distributes news or other current information to the public. A journalist's work is called journalism. A journalist can work with general issues or specialize in certain issues. However, most journalists tend to specialize, and by cooperating with other journalists, produce journals that span many topics. For example, a sports journalist covers news within the world of sports, but this journalist may be a part of a newspaper that covers many different topics.

CNN en Español

CNN en Español is a Pan-American Spanish-language news channel, owned by WarnerMedia. It was launched on pay-television, on 17 March 1997.

Political career

Funes was nominated to be the FMLN candidate on 28 September 2007 and competed against the Nationalist Republican Alliance's candidate Rodrigo Ávila, a former deputy director of the National Police. Funes won the 2009 presidential election with 51.32% of the popular vote, thus winning election in a single round. He was the country's second left-leaning president (the first being Arturo Araujo), as well as the first FMLN party leader not to have fought in the Salvadoran civil war. His swearing-in on 1 June marked only the third time in the country's history that a governing party peacefully transferred power to the opposition.

Nationalist Republican Alliance political party in El Salvador

The Nationalist Republican Alliance is a conservative, right-wing political party of El Salvador. It was founded on 30 September 1981, by retired Salvadoran soldier Roberto D'Aubuisson and Mercedes Gloria Salguero Gross. It defines itself as a political institution constituted by "Salvadorans who defend the democratic, republican, and representative system of government, the social market economy system and nationalism".

Rodrigo Ávila is a Salvadoran politician. He stood as the then ruling political party ARENA candidate for the presidency of El Salvador in the March 2009 presidential election. Upon his nomination, Ávila also became the President of ARENA. He has since resigned as President of the ARENA party. Former President, Alfredo Cristiani has since assumed the role of ARENA party President. His opponent, and victor of the contest, was Mauricio Funes of the FMLN. He is the first ARENA candidate to lose a Presidential election after Roberto D'Aubuisson.

Arturo Araujo President of El Salvador

Arturo Araujo Fajardo was the president of El Salvador from March 1, 1931 to December 2, 1931. He was overthrown in a military coup led by junior officers, and was forced to flee the country for Guatemala. An agricultural leader and engineer, Araujo had been elected in what is generally reckoned as the country's first honest presidential contest.

His presidential campaign was highlighted by statements endorsing moderate political policies. [9] He has promised to better programs such as health care in rural areas and crime prevention. [10] Political opponents stated that Funes' election would herald an era of Venezuelan influence but he insisted that "integration with Central America and strengthening relations with North America will be the priority of our foreign policy". [7] Funes has also promised to keep the U.S. dollar as El Salvador's official currency (dollarization took place in 2001 under President Francisco Flores Pérez). [10]

Health care Prevention of disease and promotion of wellbeing

Health care or healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health via the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in people. Health care is delivered by health professionals in allied health fields. Physicians and physician associates are a part of these health professionals. Dentistry, midwifery, nursing, medicine, optometry, audiology, pharmacy, psychology, occupational therapy, physical therapy and other health professions are all part of health care. It includes work done in providing primary care, secondary care, and tertiary care, as well as in public health.

Venezuela Republic in northern South America

Venezuela, officially the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, is a country on the northern coast of South America, consisting of a continental landmass and a large number of small islands and islets in the Caribbean Sea. The capital and largest urban agglomeration is the city of Caracas. It has a territorial extension of 916,445 km2. The continental territory is bordered on the north by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Colombia, Brazil on the south, Trinidad and Tobago to the north-east and on the east by Guyana. With this last country, the Venezuelan government maintains a claim for Guayana Esequiba over an area of 159,542 km2. For its maritime areas, it exercises sovereignty over 71,295 km2 of territorial waters, 22,224 km2 in its contiguous zone, 471,507 km2 of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean under the concept of exclusive economic zone, and 99,889 km2 of continental shelf. This marine area borders those of 13 states. The country has extremely high biodiversity and is ranked seventh in the world's list of nations with the most number of species. There are habitats ranging from the Andes Mountains in the west to the Amazon basin rain-forest in the south via extensive llanos plains, the Caribbean coast and the Orinoco River Delta in the east.

Francisco Flores Pérez President of El Salvador

Francisco Guillermo Flores Pérez was an Afro-Salvadoran politician who served as President of El Salvador from June 1, 1999 to June 1, 2004 as a member of the conservative Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA). He was the first former Salvadoran president to be indicted and trialed for corruption. He was placed under house arrest during the latter days of his life.

Since coming to power, Funes' administration has implemented a wide range of social reforms designed to combat poverty and inequality, including the institution of various poverty alleviation programs in the most impoverished communities, [11] the abolition of public health care fees, [12] the introduction of free shoes, [11] meals and uniforms for schoolchildren, the distribution of property titles to hundreds of families, [13] the introduction of monthly stipends and job training for those living in extreme poverty, and pensions for the elderly. [14] In addition, investments have been made in improving school infrastructure, [15] a presidential decree has been made against discrimination on the basis of gender and sexual orientation in the public services, two working groups on indigenous affairs have been created as a means of bringing about better representation of the interests of El Salvador’s indigenous communities, [16] a community health plan has been introduced, [17] improvements have been made in teacher’s salaries, and measures have been introduced to combat illiteracy. [18]

Upon his inauguration on 1 June 2009, Funes resumed Salvadoran diplomatic relations with Cuba. El Salvador previously suspended diplomatic relations with Cuba 50 years ago due to the Cuban Revolution. [19]

In November 2009, President Funes had to face the natural disaster that greatly affected communities in Cuscatlán, San Salvador and San Vicente as a result of the rain brought by Hurricane Ida. A community in San Vicente called Verapaz disappeared because it was buried by huge rocks that fell from the nearby volcano. Civil Protection, which is the government entity in charge of handling catastrophes, rehabilitated public schools in which refugees stayed for more than 3 months while they found a place to stay from family or friends. The Army and the Red Cross of El Salvador rescued many people from the communities.

Funes has been criticized [20] for lack of a plan to fight El Salvador’s increased crime in El Salvador. In response, the President has ordered the deployment of the army to cooperate with police authorities in their fight against crime. [21] More recently, there have been reports of newly formed Death Squads operating in El Salvador, due in part to a lack of response of the police. [22]

In January 2010, after a public denouncement of Funes’ former cabinet member Francisco Gómez, local Salvadoran media uncovered plans whereby almost all government publicity and advertising were to be carried, without any previous public solicitation (as required by Salvadoran Law), by advertising agency Polistepeque, S.A. de C.V. Some advisers to the president are members of its board of directors, and allegedly Funes himself has some participation through stock in that agency. [23]

The President reacted to these accusations by stating that no other advertising agency in El Salvador has the experience or capacity to manage government publicity and advertising, despite the fact that El Salvador has many local and international advertising agencies such as BBDO. [24] [25]

Personal life

He was married to Vanda Pignato, the former First Lady of El Salvador who was involved in the Workers' Party in Brazil. [26] They have one son, Gabriel. In October 2014, Funes publicly acknowledged that he and Pignato had separated. [27] The political asylum granted to Mauricio Funes by the Government of Nicaragua, included this benefit for his partner, Ada Mitchell Guzmán Sigüenza, as well as his three sons. [28]

Illicit enrichment charges

On 10 February 2016, the El Salvador Supreme Court ruled that Funes would face a civil trial for charges of illegally laundering more than $700,000 in personal bank accounts. [29] Nicaragua has granted political asylum to Mauricio Funes, who is being accused of illicit enrichment in El Salvador. [30] Mauricio Funes has not been able to justify personal transactions for over $600,000 [31] . The formal accusation against Mauricio Funes states that he and his family increased their assets without justification for an amount of over US$728,000 [32] . The income of the President of El Salvador in 2015, one year after Mauricio Funes left office, was US$5,181.72 per month [33] . On November 28, 2017, El Salvador's second civil court found Funes guilty of illegal enrichment. [34] The sentence was against Mauricio Funes and his son who is with him in Nicaragua under asylum protection, ordering that they had to restitute $420,000 to the state. [35]

Related Research Articles

The history of El Salvador begins with several Mesoamerican nations, especially the Cuzcatlecs, as well as the Lenca and Maya. In the early 16th century, the Spanish Empire conquered the territory, incorporating it into the Viceroyalty of New Spain ruled from Mexico City. In 1821, the country achieved independence from Spain as part of the First Mexican Empire, only to further secede as part of the Federal Republic of Central America two years later. Upon the republic's dissolution in 1841, El Salvador became sovereign until forming a short-lived union with Honduras and Nicaragua called the Greater Republic of Central America, which lasted from 1895 to 1898.

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2009 Salvadoran presidential election

A presidential election was held in El Salvador on 15 March 2009. The main candidates were Rodrigo Ávila (ARENA) and Mauricio Funes (FMLN). Funes won the election with 51.3% of the vote and became the first leftist president of El Salvador.

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  1. "Mauricio Funes (Biography)". Mauricio Funes: Un cambio seguro (in Spanish). Archived from the original on 19 March 2009.
  2. "Mauricio Funes (president of El Salvador)". Britannica Online Encyclopaedia.
  3. "Mártires jesuitas reciben Orden José Matías Delgado". Mártires jesuitas reciben Orden José Matías Delgado (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 April 2011.
  4. "4 awards for Latin American Coverage". The New York Times. 27 October 1994. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  5. 1 2 Factbox: Salvadoran President-elect Mauricio Funes. Reuters 16 March 2009. Retrieved on 2009-03-16.
  6. "Fallece en París Alejandro Funes, hijo del periodista Mauricio Funes". Chichicaste (in Spanish). 11 October 2007. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
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  9. Left-winger wins El Salvador poll. BBC News 16 March 2009. Retrieved on 2009-03-16.
  10. 1 2 "Left Turn". The Economist. 21–27 March 2009. p. 40.
  11. 1 2 Stephens, Sarah (28 June 2010). "What's Really Happening in El Salvador?". Huffington Post.
  12. A New Chapter for El Salvador: The First Hundred Days of President Mauricio Funes Archived 14 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine . Center for Democracy in the Americas. 9 November 2009
  13. "El Salvador: School meals, uniforms made free as right attacks | Green Left Weekly". 12 September 2009. Retrieved 25 June 2012.
  14. "Split with the past: with Panama's Ricardo Martinelli and EL Salvador's Mauricio Funes both Looking to be paradigms for successful government in the Americas, will ideology take a backseat to ruling from the center?".
  15. Education Reform Gets High Marks in El Salvador. (5 March 2012). Retrieved on 5 October 2013.
  16. 2012: Transformationsindex Archived 13 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine . Retrieved on 5 October 2013.
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  18. US-El Salvador: Threats to Privatize Education Meet International Resistance. (29 November 2012). Retrieved on 5 October 2013.
  19. "EL SALVADOR AND CUBA REESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS". Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 2010-02-15.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link). Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 1 June 2009
  20. Ponce, Carlos (9 February 2010). "La batalla presidencial contra la delincuencia".
  21. Ayala, Edgardo (13 November 2009) EL SALVADOR: More Troops on the Streets to Fight Crime Archived 10 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine .
  22. Ayala, Edgardo (16 February 2010). "Grupos de exterminio vuelven a El Salvador".
  23. "Mauricio Funes le daría toda la publicidad del gobierno a empresa de amigos". 10 January 2010.
  24. "Funes defiende asignación publicitaria a Polistepeque". 12 January 2010.
  25. "Publicistas en El Salvador piden a Funes cancelar contrato con empresa de su amigo personal". 14 January 2010.
  26. Ellingwood, Ken (26 June 2008). "In El Salvador, journalist may lead leftists to center stage". Los Angeles Times . p. 2. Retrieved 11 March 2009.
  27. Corea, Emilio (2014-10-13). "Mauricio Funes confirma estar separado de Vanda Pignato". El Blog. Retrieved 2016-01-17.
  28. "El expresidente de El Salvador Mauricio Funes recibe asilo político en Nicaragua". BBC Mundo. 6 September 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  29. Renteria, Nelson; Yukhananov, Anna; Shumaker, Lisa (10 February 2016). "Ex-president of El Salvador faces trial over source of $700,000". Reuters. Retrieved 11 May 2017.
  31. "El expresidente de El Salvador Mauricio Funes recibe asilo político en Nicaragua". BBC Mundo. 6 September 2016. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  32. Delcid, Merlín. "Admiten demanda por presunto enriquecimiento ilícito contra el expresidente Funes de El Salvador". CNN. CNN. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  33. Contreras, Clauria (11 March 2015). "¿Cuál es el presidente que más gana en el mundo?". Revista Estrategia & Negocios. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  34. "Salvador court finds ex-president Funes illegally enriched himself". Reuters. 28 November 2017. Retrieved 2017-11-28.
  35. News, ABC. "El Salvador: Ex-President Funes guilty of illicit enrichment". ABC News. Retrieved 2017-12-10.
Political offices
Preceded by
Elías Antonio Saca
President of El Salvador
1 June 2009 – 1 June 2014
Succeeded by
Salvador Sánchez Cerén