100 Days of the Sánchez Cerén Administration
Last week, the administration of Salvador Sánchez Cerén celebrated its 100th day of governance, taking the opportunity to provide a report to the public of actions taken to advance towards equality and wellbeing for all Salvadorans.
Among the achievements of the country's second leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) administration is the opening of 43 new community health clinics along with the first specialized pharmacy for patients with chronic illnesses at the National Maternity Hospital. Working to guarantee the right to dignified living conditions, the administration has also installed cement floors in 4,619 homes in 28 impoverished municipalities and constructed 177 new homes with another 388 underway in communities damaged by the 2001 earthquake. In addition, potable water service has been extended to 35,000 Salvadorans.
In the realm of public security, 90% of the police force has been trained in preparation for the new Community Policing program, already underway in several neighborhoods throughout the greater San Salvador metropolitan area. The President has also convened a National Citizen Security Council with representatives from across Salvadoran society and the political spectrum to create comprehensive community responses to violence and develop violence prevention initiatives.
Continuing with the previous administration's efforts to reactivate the nation’s neglected agricultural sector, the Ministry of Agriculture distributed 200,000 agricultural packets of bean seeds to peasant farmers and invested $400,000 in phase one of a new urban and suburban agriculture project in the greater San Salvador metropolitan area. The administration has also granted 2,124 land titles to rural families, 865 of which went to women.
In economic measures, the Development Bank of El Salvador (BANDESAL) has been granted $15.3 million to provide low-interest loans, credit and advising to women running small businesses. And in addition to new tax initiatives to increase state income, El Salvador is projected to save millions of dollars after joining Petrocaribe, a Venezuelan oil purchasing association.
The right wing opposition has responded to the administration’s publication with a counter-campaign to smear the leftist government, bolstered by the conservative media’s work to promulgate a sense of chaos and despair in national headlines. But despite these destabilizing efforts, the FMLN government has much to celebrate in the first few months of this newest phase of El Salvador’s struggle for social and economic justice.