El Salvador Recent History

Since El Salvador is the smallest but most populated republic among the republics of Central America, and being the neighboring Honduras poorest in manpower, many Salvadoran laborers crossed the border to go to work in Honduran territory.

According to Abbreviationfinder, there were numerous border incidents whereby Salvadorian troops invaded Honduras in July 1969 and bombed towns and villages. The OAS immediately intervened, forcing the two countries to return to legality. This bloody but brief conflict went down in history as the “football war”, due to a football game played between two teams from the two countries; However, it was evident that football was not at all the core of the matter, but the economic crisis always present in the two territories.

In February 1972, another government candidate won the election, Colonel A .A. Molina. Various protests raised by the left coalition resulted in a coup in March, headed by JN Duarte, which however was unsuccessful.

On July 30, 1976 Salvador and Honduras signed an agreement for the creation of a semi-militarized zone on the borders between the two countries. The subsequent elections of 1974 took place in compliance with the Constitution and those of 1977 instead, won by the government candidate CH Romero Mena, were abundantly challenged by the opposition, with assassinations and kidnappings of foreign diplomats, so it was necessary to proclaim martial law ( May 1979). In September the same year, D. Romero, brother of the president, was assassinated and the president was deposed on 15 October.

This coup, however, had the merit of closing, after 50 years, the undisputed domination of the military and the government passed into the hands of a mixed junta, which included the leader of the MNR, (Movimiento Nacional Revolucionario), G. Ungo and also the Christian Democrat JN Duarte, already in exile since 1972, was able to return home.

But soon the riots caused by the opposing interests of the political factions began again and bloody events such as the assassination of the Archbishop of San Salvador took place; OA Romero y Galdamez.

In March 1980, meanwhile, Duarte had also joined the government, which caused the split of the left wing of his party. The 5 parties that made up the guerrilla front constituted the FDR (Democratic Revolucionario) and in opposition to the armed forces and right-wing extremist groups, caused a bloody civil war.

El Salvador Recent History

From 1981 the United States began important support, not only military but also economic, to Salvador. In 1982 a Constituent Assembly was elected, whose president became R. Daubuisson Arrieta, but the provisional presidency of the republic, also under US pressure, was entrusted to the independent A. Magana Borja.

In 1983 a new Constitution was passed which decreed the direct election of the head of state every 5 years and the
National Assembly every 3 years.

In March 1984 there were presidential and legislative elections in 1985. The former led to the presidency of Duarte, the latter strengthened his party, the PDC.
The Duarte administration continued, despite its attempts to pacify and improve, to take place in the midst of the civil war, the increase in foreign debt, the worsening of all sectors of the economy, given the continuous opposition from the conservatives and the military, who with the constant help of the United States had acquired a strong and well-trained contingent.
And in this chaos, Duarte’s actions fell heavily, so much so that in the legislative elections of 1988 he had very few seats and the presidential ones saw victorious A F. Cristiani Burkard, of “Alianza Republicana Nacionalista”.

The guerrillas intensified and multiple terrorist actions had to be recorded. Until in 1990, with the regularization of many of the disagreements existing in the world, the UN, with its fruitful intercession, managed to open a pacification process in the country. Due to a particular UN intercession, presided over by Secretary General J. Perez de Cuellar at that time, a radical military reform took place in Salvador, whereby the former guerrillas were fully integrated into the political system.

And on January 16, 1992, under the aegis of the new UN Secretary General, B.Boutros Ghali, a peace agreement was signed in Mexico City. The official ceremony to sanction this national agreement was celebrated in San Salvador on December 15, 1992. The end of the war immediately paid off as there was an improvement on the economic level, with the continuation of the policy, already initiated by Christians, of privatizations, cuts in public spending, liberalization of prices and imports, and incentives for the influx of foreign capital.

In politics there were immediately better relations with neighboring states.
The 1994 elections were won by moderate A. Calderon Sol, who based his economic and social policy on the model of that of Christians.

In March 1995, the center-left Democratic Party was formed by some dissidents from other political organizations. In the following May, Calderon Sol was forced to agree with this party in order to obtain approval to increase the value added tax by 13%. But the same formation then nullified the pact when the law that provided, inter alia, the proposed school reform was opposed.

Calderon, in compliance with the provisions of the International Monetary Fund, had tried to apply a liberal policy more suitable for the development of the country. But he had not met the favor of the people who, in fact, expressed themselves with many demonstrations of contrast.

Furthermore, in October 1996, a judicial affair ended, activated for the assassination of F. Manzanares Mojaraz, member of the F. Marti Front for National Liberation. In this circumstance, the existence of a strong “social purification movement” had come to light, precisely within the police force, already known for the many political killings carried out.
The United Nations, which had begun a mission for the stability of pacification in the country, postponed until July 1997 any other intervention to achieve the goal and the mission, therefore, ended fruitlessly.

Calderon also attempted to moralize the country hit by a strong upsurge in crime. And for this he had proposed extending the death penalty to kidnappers and rapists. But despite his efforts, he was not rewarded for the policies of March 1997 when he saw the votes in favor of his party taper much, while his rivals won many more.

With a minority situation, Calderon had to withdraw his proposal and barely managed to continue the privatization of the National Telecommunications Administration. The Nationalist Republican Alliance wanted to improve its fortunes by electing the ex-president Cristiani in October 1997. And this aim was partially achieved when F. Flores, his candidate, won the presidential election in 1999.

But the laws of March 2000 were almost entirely the prerogative of the Front F. Marti of National Liberation whose ex-guerrillas adepts also won the administrative ones.