Civil War in El Salvador

Gabe Snodgrass
El Salvador
Located in Latin America (next to
Honduras and Guatemala)
Key Players
Civil war between
government of El
Salvador and
Farabundo Marti
National Liberation
Front (FMLN)
Before the war started in
1980, there had been
violence and tension
between the rich and
 Frustration from the
lower class started
when coffee became a
major crop for El
 95% of El Salvador’s
income came from
coffee but all of this
money went to about
2% of the people
Background cont.
In 1932, Augustin Farabundo Marti
formed the Central American Socialist
Party and led peasants against the govt.
 The El Salvadoran military and death
squads killed about 30,000 of those
 Marti was arrested and executed
Events leading up to Civil War
With the guerilla
forces becoming more
and more relevant, the
govt. brought back the
death squads to fight
the rebels
 In 1979, rebels
overthrew the El
government. However,
they failed to do what
they promised
 Because of this the
FMLN was formed
Start of the Civil War
Officially began in 1980
 The military killed anyone suspected of
supporting the revolution
 Often clergy, teachers, unionists, or
independent farmers
Death Squads
Known during the war
as Escuadron de la
Muerte or “Squadron
of Death”
Became well known
after killing
Archbishop Oscar
Romero in 1980
Later that year, 3 nuns
and a lay worker were
raped and murdered
Death Squads cont.
Wiped out entire
Along with the rest
of the El Salvadoran
military, death
squads were funded
by U.S.
All attacks by death
squads were denied
by El Salvadoran
govt. and U.S.
During the War
Soon after the murder of Archbishop
Romero, peaceful rallies became violent
as the military fired into the crowds of
unarmed people
 At this point, the civil war was receiving
international attention
Used strategy by
destroying coffee
plantations, bridges, cut
power lines and
anything else that
supported the military
 To return the favor, the
FMLN kidnapped and
murdered government
 Made advancements in
weapons as the war
went on
 Refused to attend
presidential elections
Near the End
All the countries resources were
exhausted from both sides
 Since the U.S. aided the military with
weapons and money, they were able to
continue fighting
The End
Fighting left 75,000
people dead, most
of which were
peasants and
innocent people
Lasted 12 years
U.S. Involvement
Supplied El Salvadoran
military with funds and
Temporarily cut funds after
nuns were killed in 1980
but proceeded after
Ronald Reagan took office
At the height of their aid,
U.S. supplied $1.5 million
to the government
Cut funds in 1990 after UN
got involved
Debate still goes on today
as to whether it was okay
for the United States to
support the military
Video Clip
Work Cited
Christine J. "El Salvador: Contradictions of Neoliberalism and Building Sustainable Peace." Web.
"Civil War in El Salvador." Nova Online Home Page. Web. 18 Sept. 2011.
<>. this site will be
used for more background information.
"El Salvador: 1945-92." MacroHistory : World History. Web. 18 Sept. 2011.
<>. this site will be used for information on the events
leading up to the start of the war.
"El Salvador Civil War." - Reliable Security Information. Web. 18 Sept. 2011.
<>. this site will be used for info on
some events that happened during the time of the civil war.
"Enemies of War - El Salvador: Civil War." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Web. 18 Sept. 2011.
<>. this site will be used for information on why
and how the U.S was involved.
Gammage, Sarah. "El Salvador: Despite End to Civil War, Emigration Continues." Migration
Information Source. Web. 18 Sept. 2011.
<>. this site will be used for info on
the immigration of El Salvadorians to the United States.
"Peace and Conflict Monitor, US Influence in El Salvador's Civil War." Peace and Conflict Monitor.
Web. 18 Sept. 2011. <>. This site will be
used for information on U.S involvement in the war and their influence.
"Salvadoran Civil War." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 18 Sept. 2011.
<>. This site will be used for basic background info
on the civil war.
"War in El Salvador." University of Michigan. Web. 18 Sept. 2011.
<>. this site will be used for the
causes and effects of the civil war.
Work Cited cont.

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