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El Salvador

Yearbook 1997

El Salvador. According to Countryaah, the March elections were a success for the FMLN (Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional), a party formed by former Marxist rebels. The distribution of seats in the country's national assembly between the FMLN and the former ruling party ARENA (Alianza Republicana Nacionalista) became even. The election of new mayor in the capital, a post held by ARENA's Mario Valiente and widely regarded as the second most important in the country after the presidential post, was won by FMLN candidate Héctor Silva.

The elections to the National Assembly were seen as a test of the democratic spirit of the country. The 1994 election was the first after the agreement on an end to the civil war in the country entered into between ARENA and the FMLN in 1992. At that time, the election was monitored by a large group of international observers. The 1997 elections sparked little international interest, and it was judged to have passed without any more extensive incidents.

At the Central American Summit in Costa Rica in May, Representatives of El Salvador's concern with US President Bill Clinton that the new immigration laws adopted in the United States in 1996 could have serious consequences for the country given that many Salvadorans who resided illegally in the United States were at risk of being deported.

1997 El Salvador

The March 2012 parliamentary election was a defeat for the FMLN, which lost its position as the largest party. The right-wing ARENA gained 33 seats in the 84-seat parliament, while the FMLN went 4 seats back to 31. Two smaller right-wing parties quit, while the newly formed AUN came in with 11 seats. ARENA's Norman Quijano won the mayor post in the capital, San Salvador.

The country remains one of the world's most dangerous because of the gang crime, which originated partly in the gang communities in Los Angeles, the country's role as a transit country for drugs from primarily Colombia against the United States and finally the extensive state violence during the civil war. In 2012, the number of annual killings reached 66 per cent. 100,000 residents, but the same year, the government succeeded through a number of programs to slow down. It had a cease-fire established between the fighting gangs in March 2012. This month the number of killings averaged 16 a day, but in April it fell to 5 and on April 14 there was no killing for the first time in 3 years in the country. As part of the program, the government simultaneously initiated "Alto al Crimen", which provides a reward of US $ 100-500 for every phone call leading to the arrest of a band leader. However, one reason for gang activity is also the continued youth unemployment. Where there is a lack of work for young people, the gang becomes an alternative.

Former FMLN guerrilla commander Salvador Sánchez Cerén won the 2014 presidential election. Already in the first round in February, he got 48.9% of the vote, while his closest counterpart, Norman Quijano of the right-wing ARENA party got 39.0%. At the second round in March, Cerén gained 50.1%, while the right wing gathered around Quijano, who got 49.9%. There was a slight decline in the FMLN against the 2009 elections.

With the inauguration of Cerén at the presidential post on June 1, Latin America got its third sitting president with a past in the guerrilla - also in Brazil and Uruguay, presidents with a past sat in the armed struggle against the 60's and 70's US supported military dictatorships.

The attitude towards abortion in the country remains extremely conservative. In January 2015, however, Parliament granted amnesty to "Guadelupe", who had been serving 7 years in prison out of 30, convicted of having an abortion. In November, the Ombudsman went into the case of Maria Teresa Rivera, who had been sentenced to 40 years in prison after a court believed to have found evidence that she had had an abortion. Acc. the ombudsman was wrong in assessing the medical complications following an operation.

In March 2015, parliamentary and municipal elections were held. The choice yielded only minimal fluctuations. ARENA lost 1 seat in parliament and got 32, while FMLN got 31.

 

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