Statement On The Dismantling Of Democracy In El Salvador

Like the Salvadoran people, I hoped that the 1992 Peace Accords would signal the beginning of a new era of democratic governance, justice, and a better life for the people of El Salvador after 12 years of a disastrous civil war.  Instead, rampant corruption, incompetence, and the unchecked personal ambitions of successive Salvadoran leaders to hold onto power have prevented the realization of those goals.  The officials responsible for the dismantling of the country’s democratic checks and balances have populist appeal, but they also share ominous characteristics with the military junta that ruled the country, with U.S. support, in the 1980s.  For many of the same reasons why I opposed U.S. military aid back then, the United States should not partner with the leaders of El Salvador’s today, who lack a basic commitment to democratic principles, justice, and fundamental rights, including the right of civil society to function without interference.