- Created: Thursday, 27 August 2009 15:14
- Written by Robert Clough
On 15 March, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front’s (FMLN) Mauricio Funes won El Salvador’s presidential election by 51.3% against 48.7% for the right-wing Arena candidate, Rodrigo Avila. Whilst Funes ran on a very moderate programme, his election still spells a significant step forward for the people of El Salvador and Central America.
In the 1980s, 75,000 people died in the FMLN-led struggle for national liberation, 90% of them victims of the El Salvadorean army and its paramilitary death squad auxiliaries led by Major Roberto d’Aubuisson. It was d’Aubuisson who set up Arena in 1981, speaking of the need to kill hundreds of thousands of El Salvadoreans ‘to restore peace to El Salvador’. Arena has ruled El Salvador since peace accords were signed in 1992, and still dominates the municipalities, even if it is now the second largest party in Congress after the FMLN.