FMLN Calls for Real Peace and Social Justice on Fifteenth Anniversary of Peace Accords

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January 16 marked the fifteenth anniversary of the signing of the Peace Accords between the government and the FMLN, accords that ended 12 years of armed conflict in El Salvador. ARENA celebrated the anniversary with a series of spectacles congratulating themselves for achieving peace in El Salvador. Meanwhile, the FMLN and much of the Salvadoran population challenged the supposed advances towards the agreements established in the accords.

Despite the publicity stunts of President Saca‘s "peace celebrations" in El Salvador, according to the latest survey in one of the main newspapers, 78% the population believes that there is not real peace in the country. The majority of the population believes that the causes of the armed conflict — the deterioration of living conditions, a widening gap between rich and poor, and increasing violence and impunity — have not been resolved.

ARENA celebrated 15 years of "peace" near the monument to the mastermind and founder of the death squads during the armed conflict, Roberto D‘Aubisson. Saca‘s speech as president of ARENA was to "forgive and forget," stating that the Accords have been fulfilled and that the country must look beyond the past. Saca declared the anniversary of the Peace Accords a national holiday, an attempt to distract people from the lack of substance in ARENA‘s discourse and Saca‘s own political unwillingness to promote the construction of peace.

Instead of celebrating non-existing peace in El Salvador, the FMLN commemorated the anniversary in a separate event in the downtown plaza, with the participation of representatives of various leftist Latin American governments along with musicians from Venezuela and Cuba. For the FMLN, the signing of the Peace Accords was the beginning of the process of building a new El Salvador with social and economic justice. The commemoration of the Peace Accords served as an opportunity to demand the real fulfillment of the Accords, which includes the reactivation of the so-called "National Forum" for economic and social agreements, meant to be the mechanism to alleviate social and economic disparity in Salvadoran society. At the same time, the FMLN and social movement organizations denounced the fact that state institutions such as the National Civilian Police (PNC) and parts of the judicial system remain repressive and often militaristic in nature. Go here to see CISPES‘s statement on the anniversary of the Peace Accords.

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