Mexico, fundamental in the pacification process in Central America

The region is evolving 30 years after the signing of the Peace Accords between the government of El Salvador and the National Liberation Front of El Salvador (FMLN). In that nation, a movement was generated that has transformed institutions.

Mexico, fundamental in the pacification process in Central America
Central America's peace process: Mexico is a key player. Photo by Nathan Fertig / Unsplash

Mexico, in collaboration with nations such as Venezuela, Panama, and Costa Rica, promoted the pacification process in Central America, particularly in El Salvador, a country that has moved from armed conflict to peace and has become part of a strategic zone. Adalberto Santana Hernández, a scholar at UNAM's Center for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CIALC), says this on the thirtieth anniversary of the signing of the Chapultepec Peace Accords between the government of El Salvador and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN).

Contained in 81 pages and signed on Thursday, January 16, 1992, they put an end to 12 years of civil war that allowed the demobilization of the guerrilla forces and their incorporation into the political life of the country. In that year there was a conflict in Central America, encouraged by the United States, and in El Salvador, there were two main forces: "those led by the government of that country through the military and its counterinsurgency offensive (also known as low-intensity warfare); and, on the other side, the insurgent forces of the FMLN, which grouped some sectors of the Salvadoran left," recalls the expert.

The also honorary member of the Honduran Academy of Geography and History, as well as of the "Carlos Rafael Rodríguez" Chair of the University of Cienfuegos in Cuba, emphasizes that the Salvadoran scenario has changed since the signing of the peace agreement in Mexico. "Particularly, two forces remained after the signing of the agreements. On the one hand, the FMLN was legitimized and participated legally in an electoral process as a political party; and the other sector, which was in the government and continued for a good number of years, was the Nationalist Republican Alliance, which were the two opposing blocks", he explains.

Afterward, the FMLN governed, but today both dissolved or lost the great energy they once had, and a former leader of the Front emerged to head a new movement: Nayib Bukele, who now governs. His party has control of the chamber and has also modified the correlation of forces in the judicial system, which gives a third alternative hegemony.

"This has generated a movement in El Salvador that has transformed all the institutions, even though some social situations still prevail, such as the migratory process, the Maras. It is an agro-exporting country, which bases its economy on that, and has entered into a pacification process, which shows the difference in the Central American region from what it was 30 years ago", he adds.

That war scenario of three decades ago, says the also Coordinator of the Academic Council of the Humanities and Arts Area of the UNAM, was encouraged by the then U.S. government. "Since 1823, the United States has proposed with the policy of 'America for the Americans', to intervene in the affairs of the nations of Central America, because it is a strategic area, in that zone, it has waged wars and conflicts regardless of who governs that country," he concludes.