Posts Tagged ‘Mauricio Funes’

El Salvador: The crisis on the Right

Saturday, February 15th, 2014
((Salvador Sánchez Cerén))

((Salvador Sánchez Cerén))

[Translation of an article from Proceso of Mexico City for February 11, 2014. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

By Juan José Dalton

San Salvador – The Salvadoran Right, joined together as the Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (ARENA), is in a crisis following its disastrous electoral failure in the first round of the presidential election of February 2.

This does not come as a surprise; their arch-enemy since the civil war (1980-1992), the governing leftist Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN), won by ten percentage points, an advantage hard to overcome in the contest scheduled for next March 9.

As of a year ago, the outlook was different for ARENA and its presidential candidate, the current mayor of San Salvador, Norman Quijano, a staunch anti-communist in the McCarthyite tradition. The polls and the analyses were then giving Quijano the leading position as the sure winner in the first or second round over the FMLN, whose candidate was professor and former rebel commander Salvador Sánchez Cerén. (more…)

El Salvador: The army pressures Funes

Sunday, November 10th, 2013

Entrevista Canal 15[Translation of an editorial from El Faro of San Salvador for October 27, 2013. See original here and related articles here and here.]

David Munguía Payés made his way into President Funes’ inner circle with two promises: to guarantee the army’s peacefulness and obedience to the country’s first leftist government in history and to protect it from the FMLN, with whom it kept up a test of strength over power.

Funes increased the defense budget and General Munguía Payés renovated the motor pool and improved conditions for the troops. He took control of the high command and broadened the range of military functions taken on after the end of the armed conflict.

So he placed the military in national intelligence, in police intelligence and in police management after his move into the Ministry of Public Safety, which he also militarized. Then he negotiated with the gangs in a controversial process, all with President Funes’ approval. Until the Supreme Court removed him from Public Safety and, even so, Funes gave him back his post in Defense, where he is currently operating. (more…)

El Salvador: Roberto Cañas optimistic about ending impunity

Saturday, March 30th, 2013

canas[Translation of an article from ContraPunto of San Salvador for March 25, 2013. See original here. Long-time activist Roberto Cañas was a signatory to the peace accords of 1992 that marked the end of the 12-year civil war in El Salvador.]

By David Ernesto Pérez

San Salvador – Once the civil war was over, the Truth Commission was installed in El Salvador for the purpose of investigating hundreds of massacres, summary executions and disappearances. On March 15, 1993, the group submitted to the United Nations a report concluding that 85 percent of the crimes committed in the conflict were the responsibility of the armed forces.

On the same day that the members of the Truth Commission – Belisario Betancur, Thomas Buergenthal and Reinaldo Figueredo Planchart – submitted the results of their investigation, which had taken more than six months, then President Alfredo Cristiani Burkard of the ARENA party [Alianza Republicana Nacionalista] was promoting the implementation of an “immediate amnesty.” (more…)

El Salvador: Leading feminist interviewed on relations with the government and the party

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012


((Morena Herrera – ContraPunto photo))

Morena Herrera charges FMLN has more interest in government positions than in social change

[Abridged translation of an article from ContraPunto of San Salvador for May 28, 2012. See original here and related articles here and here.]

by Gerardo Arbaiza

San Salvador – Morena Herrera, founder of the emblematic feminist organization Las Dignas and of the Colectiva Feminista para el Desarrollo Local, speaks with authority on the outlook for the social Left in El Salvador 20 years after the end of the armed conflict this small nation lived through from 1980 to 1992.

Herrera, who was also a guerrilla fighter, considers the feminist movement to have had a very hard struggle adapting at certain specific junctures due to the diverse opinions and the constant debate within the movement.

Herrera states that despite this diversity of opinions, an effort has been made to join together in a position of independence in the face of resolute adherence to the party. (more…)

El Salvador: Vice president accuses Funes of ignoring the interests of the FMLN

Friday, April 20th, 2012


((Muricio Funes, Salvador Sánchez Cerén))

[Translation of an article from El Faro of San Salvador for April 16, 2012. See original here.]

by Jimena Aguilar

Shortly before the third anniversary of the first Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional government, Vice President Salvador Sánchez Cerén on Monday made statements concerning the administration to which he was elected in 2009, admitting that the administration has failed to comply with what it offered the voters and holding President Mauricio Funes responsible for this. “The country still believes that change is not possible because it has not seen any,” he told journalists in an impromptu press conference in the Legislative Assembly.

Sánchez Cerén, one of the three top leaders of the leftist party, appeared as an opponent in his first public statements dissenting from Funes, declaring that the failure of the government to comply is because the president has not concerned himself with supporting what suits the party that put him in power. (more…)

El Salvador: FMLN will not act against Funes’ unconstitutional move

Friday, January 27th, 2012

Funes removed FMLN from power in public security system

[Translation of an article from ContraPunto of San Salvador for January 24, 2012. See original here and related articles here and here.]

San Salvador – El Salvador’ governing party, the Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN), formerly a guerrilla force, declared on Tuesday that President Mauricio Funes’ naming of a military officer to head the police force is a violation of the constitution of the republic.

Funes, a member of the FMLN, on Monday named retired General Francisco Salinas, who had been vice-minister of national defense until that same Monday, to head the Policía Nacional Civil (PNC – National Civil Police), which, according to the party, is a violation of the constitution. (more…)

Central America: Northern Triangle countries are being militarized

Friday, December 16th, 2011

Repressive strategies led by former soldiers are the new norm in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador

[Translation of an article from ContraPunto of San Salvador for December 14, 2011. See original here and related articles here, here and here.]

By Gerardo Arbaiza

The Central American Northern Triangle, consisting of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, has been found in several studies to be the most violent region of the world not involved in an armed conflict.

According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Honduras is in first place in the world in homicides, with a rate of 78 for every 100,000 inhabitants, followed by El Salvador with 66 and, three levels below, Guatemala, with a total of 41 murders per 100,000 inhabitants.

The World Health Organization considers a country to be in an epidemic when the rate of deaths from any cause reaches ten for every 100,000 inhabitants.

The strategy these countries have adopted recently to reduce these figures is directed at taking members of the armed forces and using them together with police forces for tasks of citizen security. (more…)

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: 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…)

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.


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…)