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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

El Salvador Journal 2005 Part VI

Our history lesson included the FMLN, still a strong presence in the country. The FMLN, named after Farabundo Marti, the leader of the indigenous insurrection of the 1930’s is a coalition of leftwing groups that formed in 1980 to present an armed front to the military government of the country. Most of the areas we visited are controlled by the FMLN, now a legitimate political party. Many of the people we worked with, including Miguel and Damian are ex-FMLN fighters.

The key to understanding the war is land. Most of El Salvador’s land was tied up in large latifundios. A very small number of people controlled most of the land in the country. The land produced coffee for export to the United States and other countries. During the war the Americans supported the government with cash - $1.5 million a day. They also assisted with military advice and weaponry. The US embassy in San Salvador was a huge bunker. People believe that the war would have been over sooner if not for this high level of support from the North.

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