El Salvador’s Civil War Veterans will Receive Pensions and Social Benefits
On Thursday, November 19, El Salvador’s Legislative Assembly passed a law to extend a number of new social benefits to the tens of thousands of men and women who fought on both sides of the country’s brutal US-backed civil war (1980-1992). Many of the measures were mandated by the 1992 Peace Accords that ended the conflict but were never implemented by subsequent governments.
The benefits established by the new law include: a monthly pension; favorable credit options; medical attention; job training and placement programs; educational programs for veterans and scholarships for their children’s university studies; and the granting of land parcels to landless veterans and ex-combatants. An inter-institutional commission with equal representatives of military and FMLN veterans’ groups will administer the implementation of these programs. Estimates project that some 51,000 Armed Forces veterans and 26,000 ex-combatants of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) will benefit from the law.
Groups like the Salvadoran Association of War Wounded (ALGES), comprised of injured and disabled FMLN ex-combatants, have fought for decades to win legal protections and reparations for veterans.
“Today, justice was done. A commitment that was made in the Peace Accords is being met,” said FMLN legislator José Melara, adding: “It’s also a recognition of the Armed Forces veteran who fought, and who today realized that those for whom they fought never risked their lives for their interests; it wasn’t until the FMLN came into the government that this demand has been answered.”