El Salvador 2006
El Salvador. According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in El Salvador include Independence Day (September 15) and New Year (January 1). The opposition party FMLN (Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional) noted some successes in the congressional and municipal elections on March 12, but far less than expected. The party’s candidate Violeta Menjívar did win the mayor’s post in the capital, San Salvador, which the party has held ever since 1997, and the party also increased the number of seats in the congress, but most of the seats were lost by the party in the last year. Moreover, the right-wing party ARENA (Alianza Republicana Nacionalista) increased much more, even if it failed to achieve its own majority. In the rest of the country, ARENA was also the clear winner with victory in 147 municipalities against 51 for the FMLN.
On April 18, President Antonio Saca and Honduran President Manuel Zelaya signed an agreement that finally settled a border dispute between the two countries, which led, among other things, to the so-called football war in 1969. The normalization process has been going on ever since 1980. The agreement was signed with great symbolism. the border post fronting El Poy and the two presidents also announced plans to reactivate the joint hydroelectric project at El Tigre. At the same time, another border conflict between the two countries flared up again in October. The dispute concerns partly territorial rights to a small island in the Gulf of Fonseca, where Nicaragua also has interests, and whether Honduras has any territorial waters in the Pacific.
Crime continues to be a major scourge in Salvadoran society, and most people believe that President Saca’s law enforcement campaign “Super Mano Dura”, which began in August 2005, has failed. The government blamed the judiciary for the failure. Despite great popular support for the reintroduction of the death penalty, the president still refused to consider it, even after the October disclosure of an alleged murder plot against the president planned by cocaine leagues. However, a proposal was introduced for the introduction of life imprisonment for serious crimes.