El Salvador: Political, Economic, and Social Conditions and U.S. Relations
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Throughout the last few decades, the United States has had a strong interest in El Salvador. During the 1980s, El Salvador was the largest recipient of U.S. aid in Latin America as its government struggled against the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front FMLN insurgency during a 12-year civil war. A 1992 negotiated peace accord brought the war to an end and formally assimilated the FMLN into the political process as a political party. After the peace accords were signed, U.S. involvement shifted towards helping the government rebuild democracy and implement market-friendly economic reforms. Successive National Republican Alliance ARENA governments, including that of the current president, Tony Saca, have maintained close ties with the United States. The Saca Administration has cooperated in counter-narcotics operations, supported the U.S. coalition forces in Iraq, and implemented the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement CAFTA-DR. However, ARENA governmentsincluding the Saca Administrationhave struggled to reduce violence and poverty in El Salvador.
- Government and Political Science