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Americas | International | Government & Elections

FMLN Winner in Salvadoran Elections
by Peter M
Wednesday Mar 18th, 2009 12:02 AM
Mauricio Funes the First Leftist President in El Salvador's History.


Photo of January congressional elections in El Salvador by Indybay photographer.

When vote totals came in from the Salvadoran presidential election Sunday, the winner by a slim but significant margin was the candidate of the FMLN, Mauricio Funes. The FMLN website said “Hope won over fear.” The FMLN, in Spanish called the Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (The Farabundo Martî Front for National Liberation), fought fascism in Central America with a military effort that went on for twelve years. A truce was called in 1992, but the extreme right wing remained in power until now.

Funes was a very popular talk show host; a media star who began his career in journalism covering the civil war. He lost his older brother to a death squad in 1980. He worked for corporate media, joining CNN’s Spanish Edition in 1991. In 2007 he left CNN. That year he also joined the FMLN. He has pledged to work with the Obama administration, and the U.S. has given signals it will accept his victory.

Interviewed on Democracy Now, Salvadoran-American journalist Roberto Lovato said the FMLN victory is the end of 130 years of nearly complete domination of the Salvadoran political system by oligarchy and dictatorship. The Bay Area has been a center for solidarity with El Salvador. An Indybay report by Jorge Castillo said CISPES (Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador) was “one of the biggest solidarity organizations in US history.” A San Francisco celebration of the FMLN victory is planned for March 21 at 7:00 at the Women's Building.