Posts Tagged ‘El Salvador’

El Salvador: Military has grown by 57% during the current administration

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

[Translation of an article from El Faro of San Salvador for December 7. See original here.]

by Sergio Arauz

After a steady reduction in the armed forces from the signing of the Peace Accord until they were stabilized at around 11,000 men, the administration of President Mauricio Funes has increased the number of men under arms by almost 57 percent, according to data from the National Ministry of Defense.

This growth in the number of soldiers is added to the fact that never before since the signing of the Peace Accords has the military played such an active role in the life of the country as during this first administration of Funes and the FMLN [Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional] that brought him to power. During the present administration, the military has been charged with carrying out public security tasks they had lost in 1992 or that they had never had, like guarding the perimeters of prisons. (more…)

El Salvador: Feminist organizations join together to demand decriminalization of abortion

Friday, September 16th, 2011

[Translation of an article from ContraPunto of San Salvador for September 12, 2011. See original here.]

By Gloria Morán

San Salvador – Twelve women’s organizations united as the Articulación por el Derecho a Decidir (Coalition for the Right to Choose) on Monday declared their support for therapeutic abortion and called on the Salvadoran government to decriminalize it.

Their statement comes within the framework of the day for the decriminalization of abortion in Latin America and the Caribbean, to be observed next September 28.

Until 1997, the law in El Salvador permitted abortion in three circumstances: therapeutic abortion, when the life of the woman was in danger; eugenic abortion, when the fetus was not viable due to malformations; and ethical abortion, when the baby was the product of rape or incest. (more…)

Guatemala: Salvadoran legislator denies turn to the right in Central America

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Two rightist candidates will contend for the Guatemalan presidency in November runoff election

[Translation of an article from Diario Tiempo of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, for September 12, based on an Agence France Presse dispatch. See original here.]

The president of the Salvadoran legislature, leftist Sigfrido Reyes, on Monday denied that the rightist win in Sunday’s elections in Guatemala signals a general turn to the right in Central America.

“Guatemala has taken a step within its democratic development,” said Reyes, who led a mission from the Salvadoran legislature to observe the elections in Guatemala. Two rightists, retired General Otto Pérez and businessman Manuel Baldizón, will compete for the presidency of Guatemala in a runoff in November, as indicated by a count of 95 percent of the polls in the Sunday election.

Reyes, leader of the ruling Frente Farabundo Martí (FMLN) of El Salvador, denied that the results signal “the return to power of the right” in Central America and declared that the case of Guatemala is “atypical.” In Guatemala, “the party institutions are young, some of them weak, in other cases they tend to be short-lived. This last element is very characteristic of the Guatemalan political tradition, so each election is a surprise,” he stressed. The legislator denied a general return to power of the right on the isthmus, affirming that in the other Central American countries “there are established parties (on the left), with histories and with very well defined ideologies.”

Three leftists won presidencies in Central America between 2007 and 2009, an unprecedented occurrence: Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua (Sandinista), Álvaro Colom in Guatemala (Social Democrat) and Mauricio Funes in El Salvador (FMLN). Honduras and Panama have rightist governments, while that of Costa Rica is nominally social democrat but is considered on the right because of its neoliberal policies.

El Salvador: Muricio Funes on pragmatism and Utopia

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

La Jornada photo by Marco Peláez

[Translation of an interview from La Jornada of Mexico City for June 22, 2011. See original here.]

by Blanche Petrich

Two years as president and he has three to go. The first ruler of his country, El Salvador, not to come from the oligarchy. He defends his pragmatism as an indispensable attribute at this juncture. Mauricio Funes Cartagena, 53 years old, recognizes beforehand that in 2014, when he leaves the presidential residence, he will be “halfway done,” leaving unfulfilled many of the aspirations that led partisans of the leftist Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN) and the popular sectors to vote for him in 2009.

“I am aware that people are going to be disappointed. I never thought in a utopian way; I knew I would diverge from the historical aspirations of the people. I understand that the unions are frustrated, I understand the frustration of the teachers, with whom I reached an agreement for an improvement in their salaries and now we are not going to achieve that in the terms we agreed on. It is just that I do not have any more resources to improve the hospitals, to improve the living standards for many. But despite it all, El Salvador has changed. (more…)

Salvadoran foreign minister on Honduras’ reintegration into OAS

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

An interview with Hugo Martínez

[Abridged translation of an interview from ContraPunto of San Salvador for May 23. See original here and related articles here and here.]

By Fernando de Dios and Magdalena Flores

San Salvador – It was learned on Sunday that the current president of Honduras, Porfirio Lobo, and former President Manuel Zelaya, overthrown in a coup d’état on June 28, 2009, had reached an agreement for the latter’s return to his country and, consequently, for the reintegration of Honduras into the Organization of American States (OAS).

The decision, backed by a mediation process initiated by the presidents of Venezuela and Colombia, Hugo Chávez and Juan Manuel Santos, was recognized by the Minister of Foreign Relations of El Salvador in a statement in which he indicates that “the conditions established by the accord pave the way as well for the return of Honduras to the Organization of American States (OAS), a step El Salvador, along with other countries of the region, has advocated.” (more…)

El Salvador: The FMLN as the ruling party

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011
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[Translation of an article from ContraPunto for April 29, 2011. See original here.]

By Luis Armando González

San Salvador – The Right, represented by ARENA [Alianza Republicana Nacionalista], dominated the political life of El Salvador for 20 years. To break this domination — a domination constructed of interwoven economic, political and media components — the FMLN [Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional] had to be innovative in a political formula that allowed it to broaden its electoral base. (more…)

El Salvador: Humanitarian imperialism?

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

[Translation of an article from ContraPunto for March 30. See original here. The author, Juan José Dalton, editor-in-chief of ContraPunto, is the son of Roque Dalton, Salvadoran poet and revolutionary killed in 1975. See more on Roque Dalton and his sons here.]

By Juan José Dalton

San Salvador – Sometimes one is mistaken, or wants to be mistaken, and believes in the good faith of the powerful. But the powerful have no good faith.

We have recently had a visit to El Salvador from Barack Obama. In contrast with other places and times, Obama was welcomed in my country with joy and enthusiasm, but above all with hopes that at last we Salvadorans would be seen as partners and as friends of the gringos and not as puppets or as their enemies. (more…)

A slow and certain threat in El Salvador

Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

ContraPunto photo

[Translation of an article from ContraPunto of El Salvador for March 27, 2011. See original here.]

By Gloria Morán

San Salvador – Years ago fishing became the livelihood for the family of Don Maximiliano Figueroa, now past his 70th birthday. His means of support could now be threatened by mining. He lives in the hamlet of Las Cuevitas, in Metapán, Santa Ana.

The hope of catching something that might help feed him and his family knows no time of day. In the morning or in the afternoon, boats come and go on Güija Lake. (more…)

The continuing dangers of migration through Mexico

Sunday, December 26th, 2010

Los Angeles Times photo by Don Bartletti

[Translations of two articles from La Jornada of Mexico City for December 24, 2010.  See originals here and here.]

Human Rights Commission documents kidnapping of 20,000 migrants in 2010

Mexico City, December 23 – The Comisión Nacional de Derechos Humanos (CNDH – National Human Rights Commission) of Mexico has documented more than 10,000 kidnappings of illegal migrants during a six-month period of this year, an official of the organization announced on Thursday.

The CNDH has recently investigated at the scene the abduction of some 50 immigrants who were travelling on a freight train through Oaxaca, in southern Mexico, as charged by Central American governments. (more…)

Mauricio Funes, president of El Salvador

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

“People will keep going to the US despite massacres”

Mauricio Funes — Reuters photo

[Translation of an article from El País of Madrid, Spain, for September 12, 2010. See original article here.]

by Pablo Ordaz

Fifty-year-old Mauricio Funes speaks without holding back. He assails equally the Right that ruled his country for two decades and the radical Left that raised him to the presidency of El Salvador a year ago. Despite the fact that his country continues to be mired in the deepest poverty and inequality, 74 percent of Salvadorans still trust him. This interview was conducted Friday in Mexico City, where he had gone to secure from President Felipe Calderón a commitment to fight together against organized crime.

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Question: After the killings in Tamaulipas, in which 13 of the 72 murdered immigrants were Salvadoran, you sent a letter to the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderón. What did you say? (more…)

El Salvador: Feminists criticize President Funes for hostility toward women’s group

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

[Translation of an article from Contrapunto of El Salvador for August 30, 2010. See original article here.]

by Magdalena Flores

Contrapunto photo

San Salvador – Feminist groups are not at all happy with President Mauricio Funes.

The Movimiento Amplio de Mujeres (Broad Movement for Women) demonstrated last Thursday near the presidential residence, west of the capital, to show their total rejection of recent statements by Funes, who a few days ago overruled the head of the Instituto Salvadoreño para el Desarrollo de la Mujer (ISDEMU – Salvadoran Institute for the Development of Women), Julia Evelyn Martínez, for signing a regional document that, among other things, called for revision of laws penalizing abortion.

Martínez participated last July in the XI Conferencia Regional sobre la Mujer de América Latina y el Caribe (Sixth Regional Conference on Women of Latin America and the Caribbean), a gathering that supported the Consenso de Brasilia (Brasilia Consensus), a document that deals with reproductive health, including abortion and birth control. (more…)

Salvadoran President Funes vetoes required Bible readings in schools

Friday, July 30th, 2010

[Translation of an article from El Faro of San Salvador for July 27. See also “El Salvador: The congressmen and the Bible” posted here on July 10.]

By Sergio Arauz

After almost a month of debate throughout the country, President Mauricio Funes, who initially supporting the bill enthusiastically, has rejected a measure that would require the daily reading of passages from the Bible in all schools of the country.

The president argued that requiring the reading of biblical texts goes against the constitution by violating the religious freedom established in the document. (more…)