Still seeking “a strong and lasting peace”
This 16th of January, we commemorate 21 years since the signing of the Peace Accords. After 12 years of armed conflict, Salvadorans finally arrived at an agreement between the two parties, and ended a war that originated from social injustice, repression, and lack of personal liberties. The consequences of this war included more than 75,000 people assassinated, thousands of people disappeared, children orphaned, refugees and displaced persons, and much destruction.
The signing of the Accords brought many important advances in the democratization of the country, such as the disbanding of the repressive forces, reduction of the armed forces, and the creation of new institutions like the Human Rights Ombudsman and the National Civil Police, among others. However, the same cannot be said in terms of the economic situation. El Salvador continues as one of the countries with the highest levels of economic inequality, where a small group of families receive more than half the country’s income, while the majority of the population lacks the resources to meet their basic needs. The lack of economic opportunities has greatly influenced Salvadorans’ decisions to immigrate to the United States. The Social Economic Forum created by the Peace Accords to address these issues produced no results.