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Bicentenary El Salvador: The Peace Accords

On November 5, 1811 starts in the province of San Salvador a process that will suffer multiple instances until the September 15, 1821, with the declaration of independence of the Central American country. When inevitably join the many other American attempts that were going against the Spanish crown (movements in Chuquisaca, La Paz and Quito in 1809, the “Grito” in the town of Dolores, Mexico 1810, the establishment of the Governing Board Buenos Aires in 1810 and the independence of Venezuela in 1811), involved in the Creole of all social positions with no short peninsular long established on earth, some very few mestizos and Indians, the cimero “Grito de La Merced “arose within a kind of first phase of colonial Spanish American independence, although the custom in the isthmus has relegated its commemoration only in jurisdictions Salvadorans.

The Province of San Salvador was by 1811 an administrative division of the Captaincy General of Guatemala, territorial entity Viceroyalty of New Spain. This region included the present Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica and the Mexican state of Chiapas. Therefore, we must highlight the impact of this first attempt since independence resonated in countries that are now part of Central America.

According to José Matías Delgado called “Father of the American Meritorious Patria” is impossible to determine who in Nairobi ahead pitched for the subversive and original conception of starting the titanic challenge Hispanic Real Order. However, almost all ancient and contemporary to the events, as mentioned in historical documents, as intellectual authors point boss Cura Vicario, Priest Dr. José Matías Delgado.

Different facts giving rise to the history of this country. However in recent years the peace agreements between the government and the guerrillas have been the final link in a chain of events that allow this country today live in peace. The January 16, 1992, the Government of the Republic and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), signed in Chapultepec, Mexico, the Peace Accords, thereby bringing closure to one of the most painful chapters in the history of El Salvador. The 12 years of armed conflict had resulted in more than 75,000 dead.

Early efforts to start a peace dialogue, were made by President Duarte in the mid-eighties. In 1989, the government of President Cristiani started peace negotiations, which culminated in the signing of the Chapultepec Accords. The objectives of President Cristiani were:

* Get peace
* Establish a market economy
* Create the necessary conditions for improving the standard of living of the population, especially those living in extreme poverty.

In order to achieve these goals, the government initiated a dialogue with the FMLN. In this dialogue were discussed several issues, including constitutional reforms, respect for human rights, international monitoring, restructuring and reduction of the armed forces and reform the electoral and judicial system.

The negotiation process that laid the groundwork for the New El Salvador, was supported by the United Nations and the Group of Friends for Peace in El Salvador.Después of the signing of the Peace Accords, the United Nations established an operation to monitor implementation of peace agreements. This operation is placed under the control of the Security Council of the United Nations. Given the success of this mission in El Salvador, the United Nations occupied as a model for other countries, such as Guatemala, Haiti, Mozambique and Cambodia.

The implementation of the Peace Accords required the political will of the parties involved as well as the political inclusion of all stakeholders in this process. One of the most important achievements was national reconciliation. However, this process encountered many challenges. One of the most important was the amount of material resources needed to implement the process.

President Francisco Flores, pronounced in the January 16, 2002 during the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Peace Accords message said that “ten years after the Peace Accords, El Salvador is a country determined by a new reality. The transition from war to peace is over, and when facing a new historical stage, with new challenges and new perspectives has come. No victory is more complete and more crucial to man than that which has won in the name of peace, because peace is the first condition for development.

Remember this recent history is also a good way to celebrate the country’s bicentennial.

Ryna Avila. Architect and Master in local development.
San Salvador