Like much of Latin America, the small Central American nation of El Salvador (20,742 square kilometres, and 7.2 million inhabitants) has had a violent history, ruled in oligarchic manner by people willing to use any means necessary to maintain the extreme inequality.
In the 1970s, resistance to the Salvadoran regime increased, which led to a greater and a greater repression, both the Government and the private “death squads” with which they were allies.
In March 1980, the right death squads added the most prominent name even to their victims of murder, that of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero. Romero was one of the most beloved figures in the country, but that he had infuriated people wrong by using their Sunday homilies transmitted by radio to denounce military violence and death squads and call for reform.
Mass protests at the funeral of Archbishop turned violent, with images of TV viewers around the world of security forces firing into a crowd of unarmed demonstrators on the steps of the Cathedral of San Salvador.
The reputation of the regime in El Salvador and who operated partly independent of her death squads gave another blow in around the world and even in many parts of the United States when four wet American suffered rape, torture, and victims of murder in December 1980.
Both President Carter and Congress tried to juggle with the double aim of preventing any more emerging in Latin America left Government, and expressing disapproval over human rights violations, so the U.S. aid to El Salvador became more unpredictable, and had more conditions. However, the election of President Reagan and a change in the Congress to the right allies of the United States more firmly with the regime in El Salvador.
But the situation had sufficiently broken in El Salvador at the beginning of 1981 that a coalition of groups on the left decided that it was time to launch one full offensive to take control of the country. What already had been a situation of oppression and horrible violence flares now became a civil war off-and-towards outside.
Despite some initial successes, the offensive rebel soon ran out of steam, without having obtained the level of public support that had driven rebels in Cuba and Nicaragua to victory in previous Latin American revolutions. With a lot of support from the United States, the regime fought the military challenge. They were not, however, able to eliminate the rebels, so the war continued.
He continued, in fact, until 1992. During the years of the civil war, it is estimated that the regime has killed more than 70,000 civilians. Rebels arrived never again close by overthrowing the regime, however, remained a credible threat, and failed truce to the violence on both sides.
Finally, in 1992 the international community intervened. Under the auspices of the United Nations, the Salvadoran Government and the left wing rebels agreed to a truce. The rebels handed over their weapons to the U.N. forces. 102 Salvadoran military officers were dismissed. The Constitution of El Salvador was modified to make it harder for the military are involved in the internal affairs. A subsequent Truth Commission revealed additional information about some of the worst atrocities that occurred during the war.
El Salvador had a lot of rebuilding to do after a decade of civil war and decades additional until fights internal. Great part of the laity the country’s infrastructure in ruins, thousands of families had buried their breadwinner, fear and distrust had been understandably generalized. Many Salvadorans had fled the country as refugees from the war and the economic devastation, neighboring Nations and the United States.
In the years since then, however, things in El Salvador have been better than most people would have probably predicted, and is being billed as perhaps the most successful example of the UN intervening to resolve a conflict. Rather than there be absolute or achieve only a respite time followed by a new war, the agreements of 1992 carried out reasonably well.
While the country is hardly an ideal of public tranquillity, human rights in El Salvador since the peace accords has never returned to or from afar as low as its terrible level of the 1970s and 1980s. The army has been praised by very low corruption and to not return to insert itself in political matters, and in fact has been much reduced in size.
The country has witnessed an agrarian reform limited to alleviate in part some of the worst inequality and injustice. The poverty level, which stood at 66% at the time of the agreements, little by little has been reduced by almost half. Employment and agricultural production have been similarly gradual improvement of horrible for less mediocrity for the region. El Salvador now holds peaceful diplomatic and trade relations with all its neighbors, it has been, certainly not always true in its history.
The political system in El Salvador has opened up considerably. The elections have been free and fair in the country, or the region, beyond. The candidates left have been able to participate in the political process and have won a considerable number of seats in the legislature, even came to the Presidency from 2009 with Mauricio Funes and then in 2014 with Salvador Sanchez Ceren.
It takes long time for a country to recover from the kind of sustained brutality suffered by El Salvador in its civil war and earlier, and in no way is the complete recovery of El Salvador. No doubt there has been progress, but there is no reason to lose hope.