The brutal civil war in El Salvador appears to be nearing an end, an outcome that many observers of the country doubted was ever possible. For both sides, though, the central issue of the war remains: to what degree has democracy taken root in El Salvador, and to what extent can the country strengthen democratic, civilian-controlled government institutions?
This timely book, based on meetings held at the Woodrow Wilson Center in April and October 1991, highlights the key questions regarding El Salvador's transition to democracy.Does the electoral process allow for a fair and impartial reflection of the popular will? Is US policy aiding the cause of democracy—or strengthening an all-powerful military? Can peace last without progress on human rights and economic growth that ameliorates the country's widespread poverty? Contributors from the public, private, and academic realms address these issues, providing up-to-date information.The book includes chapters and discussion by veteran journalist Tom Gibb, Assistant US Secretary of State Bernard Aronson, and Alvaro de Soto, the mediator in the talks between the FMLN guerrillas and the Cristiani government.To conclude, Gary Bland summarizes the evidence presented and adds his own observations regarding the prospects for democracy in El Salvador.