Articles by: Erica Thompson
Polls on the March 15 presidential vote show the election will likely open a new progressive chapter in El Salvador's long, violent history of war and dictatorships with a victory by the leftist FMLN, which is promising to build a people-centered government. But the right is not taking its impending defeat lightly; it has been orchestrating a massive fear campaign and has worked feverishly to secure corporate-driven development contracts before its rule is set to expire.
International observers have denounced recent activities of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as designed to overthrow democratically elected presidents Evo Morales of Bolivia and Hugo Chávez of Venezuela. A similar strategy is underway to undermine the electoral process in El Salvador by striking fear and confusion into voters before legislative and presidential elections in 2009.