30th Anniversary of 1992 Peace Accords will not be officially celebrated.
On the 25th anniversary of the Peace Accords in 2017, a Monument to Peace and Reconciliation was erected on the western side of the capitol city. The monument includes figures of a government and guerrilla soldier walking arm in arm with doves of peace overhead overseen by a figure of an earth mother goddess. Today the Bukele government is in the process of dismantling it.
Opponents to Nayib Bukele are calling for a new protest march Sunday in the capital city of San Salvador as their own way of highlighting the principles of the Peace Accords and their opposition to the authoritarian direction of the Bukele regime.
In October 2014, former president Alfredo Cristiani of ARENA delivered to current president Salvador Sanchez Cerén of the FMLN, the original signed version of the 1992 Peace Accords which Cristiani had kept in his house for more than 20 years. (Nayib Bukele and allies would call this photo more evidence of the "pact of los corruptos.")
So why is Bukele attacking the Peace Accords? To celebrate the Peace Accords and the reforms they instituted would be to celebrate many of the norms which Bukele has begun to trample. He cares little for the institutions of constitutional democracy. The separation of powers checks him from acting freely. He attacks those who would champion human rights. While the Peace Accords intended to remove the military from domestic affairs, Bukele sends the military out into the country with ever more frequency to perform all sorts of internal tasks from policing to delivering food packets, to capturing grasshoppers, to enforcing sanitary quarantines of entire towns.Moreover, one of Bukele's constant themes is to denounce his opposition as a corrupt pact between ARENA and the FMLN. Because the Peace Accords are signed by the FMLN and the government then controlled by ARENA, he attacks the peace agreement as part of their supposed corrupt bargain.These are the efforts of a president to deny and revise history so that the lessons of history cannot be learned by the current generations.
Only the foolish would assert that El Salvador has lived up to the ideals of the Peace Accords in the three decades which have followed. The hard work to establish democracy, to enforce the rule of law, to respect the separation of powers, and to combat corruption has fallen short repeatedly. Economic inequality, violence and violations of human rights persist. But the failure of the country to live up to those ideals embodied in the Peace Accords does not mean the ideals themselves should not be highlighted and lifted up. In fact, El Salvador three decades later needs to be reminded of those ideals more than ever.
Posts from prior anniversaries:
What Salvadoran bloggers are saying -- fifteen years after the Peace Accords
Twentieth Anniversary of 1992 Peace Accords
Stalled progress 25 years after El Salvador's peace accords