Salvadoran Left Apologizes As It Commemorates End of Civil War
By Dialogo January 18, 2011
As it commemorated the nineteenth anniversary of the end of the civil war, the governing former guerrilla group, the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), asked “forgiveness” for the deaths, injuries, and material damage caused by its actions.
“We repeat our request to the Salvadoran people for forgiveness for all the actions we took during the armed conflict (1980-1992) that caused human injuries and material damage (…),” the country’s vice president, once a member of the FMLN’s former general command, Salvador Sánchez Cerén, exclaimed during the memorial ceremony’s central speech.
The ceremony commemorating the end of the war was held at the foot of the Christ of Peace monument, in the southeastern sector of the capital, with the participation of slightly more than two hundred active members of the group, which came to power with President Mauricio Funes in June 2009.
On 16 January 1992, with United Nations (UN) mediation, then-president Alfredo Cristiani and the FMLN’s commanders signed the set of agreements that ended the armed conflict, which left more than 75,000 dead, 7,000 missing, and more than 1.579 billion dollars in economic losses. After the peace agreements were signed, the army submitted to civilian control, the judicial system was reformed, new institutions to safeguard democracy were created, and the FMLN destroyed its weapons and transformed itself into a political party.
“Over the course of these nineteen years, we’ve demonstrated our democratic vocation,” the Salvadoran vice president emphasized.
Sánchez Cerén highlighted the evolution of the main actors in the armed conflict: “The Armed Forces are now guarantors of the defense of our national sovereignty and are obedient to the Constitution of the Republic.”