Civil War Memorial
The Salvadoran Civil War was predominantly fought between the government of El Salvador and a coalition of four leftist groups and one communist group known as the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN).
Subversive activity started with "El Grupo" (a group that later would be called E.R.P.) and also the FPL that initiated activities after Cayetano Carpio (its leader) broke in ideology from now extinct El Salvador's Communist Party (PCES). In 1970, the FPL guerrilla force was small and didn't have military training. Later the FPL was one of the largest organizations inside of the FMLN coalition.
In the beginning of the conflict, the PCES didn't believe in taking power by force, but through elections. The ERP split off, creating the RN (National Resistance) after ERP leaders killed the leftist poet Roque Dalton, whom they believed had spied for the American CIA. Approximately 75,000 people were killed in the war. The Salvadoran Civil war was fought in the context of the global Cold War, with Cuba and the USSR backing the Marxist-Leninist rebels and the United States backing the right wing military Salvadoran government. Oliver´s Stone movie Salvador depicts the United States involvement in the country and its criminal tactics. Some go as far as proclaiming that the formation of Mara Salvatrucha, the criminal gang originating in Los Angeles, is a repercussion of that conflict.
On January 16, 1992 the government of El Salvador represented by president Alfredo Cristiani and the guerrilla represented by the commanders of the five guerrilla groups such as Shafick Handal, Joaquin Villalobos, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, Francisco Jovel and Eduardo Sancho signed the Peace Agreements ending a 12-year civil war in the Chapultepec Castle in Mexico. The international community was present and there was wide admiration because after the signature of the president he stood up and shook hands with all the now ex-guerrilla commanders. The Peace Agreements included reduction of the Army, the dissolution of the National Police, Treasury Police and National Guard. The dissolution of the Civilian Defense, a paramilitary group. The organization of a new Civil Police and the end of impunity with which the government would leave recommendation to a Commission of the Truth.
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