Country in Central America, bounded N and E by Honduras, S and SW by the Pacific Ocean, and NW by Guatemala.
The 1983 constitution, amended 1985, provides for a president elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term, assisted by an appointed vice president and a council of ministers. There is a single-chamber national assembly of 84, elected by universal suffrage for a three-year term.
The original inhabitants of the area were Indians, who arrived from Mexico around 3000 BC. From the period of the Maya Indians AD 100 to 1000 remain huge limestone pyramids built by them in western El Salvador. The Pipil Indians were in control of the area at the time of the Spanish conquest 1525. El Salvador and other Central American Spanish colonies broke away from Spanish rule 1821, and became part of the United Provinces of Central America until 1840.
power held by army and oligarchy
The history of El Salvador has been marked by a succession of military revolts, with periods of tyrannical rule, violence, and political assassinations. In 1932, the indigenous Salvadorean population was virtually wiped out in a military crackdown resulting in 30,000 deaths following peasant unrest. A more orderly form of political succession was established after 1871. Yet governments tended to be dominated by the same economic interests, families, and clans. In general, the army and the planter alike controlled affairs.
guerrilla movement formed
After a coup 1961 the conservative National Conciliation Party (PCN) was established, winning all the seats in the national assembly. The PCN stayed in power, with reports of widespread human-rights violations, until challenged 1979 by a socialist guerrilla movement, the Farabundo Martí Liberation Front (FMLN). A civilian-military junta deposed the president.
death squads operate
In 1980 the archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero, a champion of human rights, was shot dead in his cathedral. The murder of three US nuns and a social worker prompted US president Jimmy Carter to suspend economic and military aid. In 1980 José Napoleón Duarte, leader of a moderately left-of-center coalition, returned from exile and became president. The conservative US administration of Ronald Reagan supported him, as an anticommunist, and encouraged him to call elections 1982. The left-wing parties refused to participate, and the elections were held amid great violence, at least 40 people being killed on election day. Although Duarte's Christian Democrats (PDC) won the largest number of assembly seats, a coalition of right-wing parties blocked his continuation as president. A provisional chief executive was selected from a list of candidates acceptable to the military, serving until the 1984 elections, which Duarte won in a runoff against Roberto d'Aubuisson, a rightist suspected of involvement in the de
ath of Archbishop Romero.
In 1984 the president's daughter was abducted by guerrillas, forcing him to negotiate with them, in the face of criticism from opposition parties and the military. In 1985 the anti-imperialist PDC won a convincing victory in the assembly, with 33 seats. The right-wing National Republic Alliance (ARENA) and PCN won 13 and 12 seats respectively, fighting the election on a joint platform. The guerrilla war continued; in Aug 1987 they agreed to meet and discuss the Regional Peace Plan of the Contadora group with Duarte, but the peace initiative collapsed.
The election 1989 of Alfredo Cristiani of D’Aubuisson’s ARENA party, amid allegations of ballot rigging, appeared to herald a return to a hard line against the FMLN rebels. Many activists in labor-union, cooperative, and human-rights organizations were arrested. The guerrillas mounted a surprisingly effective offensive in the wealthy suburbs of San Salvador but subsequently agreed to peace talks. In 1990 a consistently high level of “disappearances” was denounced by the country’s Human Rights Commission. In the 1991 general election ARENA claimed 43 assembly seats and continued in power.
peace accord signed
A peace accord, initiated by the United Nations (UN) and signed by the government and the FMLN Dec 1991, came into effect Feb 1992. The FMLN subsequently became a political party. Evidence of human rights violations by the senior officials during the civil war was published in a report by a UN-sponsored Truth Commission March 1993. Although a government amnesty cleared those implicated, President Cristiani later carried out a purge of El Salvador's top military leaders. In the 1994 presidential election Armando Calderón Sol of ARENA won a clear majority, after an inconclusive first round.
It was estimated that the civil war 1980–90 had claimed some 70,000 lives.
A republic on the Pacific coast of Central America; Also called: Salvador.
Republic in Central America; see El Salvador.
Država u Centralnoj Americi.