Sad news out of El Salvador – Héctor Silva suffered an aortic aneurism and passed away this morning just before noon local time.
La Prensa Grafica is reporting that Dr. Silva, who was the President of FISDEL (Fund for Social Investment and Local Development), collapsed while attending an event at the Casa Presidencial on transparency and anti-corruption policies. He was rushed to the Centro de Diagnóstico where he was pronounced dead.
Dr. Silva had a long and distinguished career serving the people of El Salvador. According to the FISDL website, Dr. Silva graduated from the University of El Salvador medical school in 1972, and completed post-graduate studies in obstetrics and gynecology and public health from the Universities of Michigan and Johns Hopkins in the United States. He spent the early part of his medical career providing medical services to the poorest communities in El Salvador, and served as the director of Maquilishuat, a Salvadoran nonprofit organization.
In the late 1980s, Dr. Silva was the director of the Maternal Infant Medicine department at the National University Medical School. He became a Legislative Assembly representative in 1991, where he served as the head of the Health Commission. In 1997 he was elected Mayor of San Salvador and reelected to a second term in 2000. He was the first mayor of San Salvador elected from the FMLN party, after putting together a coalition of opposition parties. During his six years as mayor, he oversaw the opening of the first landfill in Central America, decentralization of city services, and rehabilitation of the historic downtown area. He made civic participation a priority and enacted several relations that facilitated public input on how city funds were used. He also made the municipal government more transparent and simplified the administrative process.
In 2003, he returned to the Legislative Assembly and made an unsuccessful run for President in 2004 under a coalition of United Center Democrats and Christian Democratic Party (CDU-PDC).
In 2004, Héctor Silva ran for President of El Salvador under a coalition of United Center Democrats and Cristian Democratic Party (CDU-PDC).
He has served as the President of FISDL since June 2009 when Mauricio Funes became President.