28 November 2007

El Salvador Looks Left Again

A recent study reveals a deep underlying discontent among Salvadorans who, between economic crisis and crime, are starting to look at the heirs of the Leftist guerrillas of the past as a “possibility of change”, though there will not be elections till 2009.

The vice-chancellor of the Central American University of El Salvador (UCA), the Jesuit priest Jose María Tojeira, explained the results of an opinion poll carried out by one of its institutes and pointed out “there is a deep discontent with the situation in the country, much more than with their own family situation”. The data of the University Institute of Public Opinion (IUDOP) speak for itself: 63.5% of the respondents considered that the economic situation had worsened; 82.2% that the prices of everyday living had increased a lot; 65.5% think that next year this Central American country will be worse off. More than half the Salvadorans blame “dollarisation” – in 2001 the national currency was changed from the colón to the U.S. dollar – for the current crisis and for generating unemployment, migration and crime, as Tojeira explained in analysing the statistics.

The poll was carried out between October 26 and November 6 on 1,301 people, adults and residents of all Salvadoran regions, and also covered questions relating to violence. Fifty-two point four per cent of Salvadorans think that crime increased, moreover 19.4% of those consulted said they were victims of it. In this country there are between 9 and 10 murders daily; the rate of homicide is more than 60 per 100,000, the highest in Latin America. Moreover, the IUDOP study found a growing sympathy for the Leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN), against the official Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (Arena). The FMLN obtained 34.5% of voting intention for the presidency and Arena 27%.
Published on November 28, 2007 in El Pais. Link:

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