The FMLN, Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front or Frente Farabundo Marti para la Liberación Nacional, is the only left-wing political party of El Salvador. The FMLN, until February 28th, 2021, was one of the two main political parties in El Salvador.
This political party was created in 1980; at that time, the organization’s main objective was to coordinate the five guerrilla groups engaged in the civil war against the government and the military.
After the 1992 peace accords, the FMLN became an official political party. Between 1992 and 2019, this left-wing political party was the main opposition to ARENA, the other major political party in El Salvador.
The FMLN and the 2021 elections.
In the February 28th elections, the left-wing political party received the worst defeat since they started competing for public office. The FMLN, from 2092 to 2019, was one of the two main political forces in El Salvador; after the February Elections, the left-wing political party dropped to 4th position.
The FMLN in the legislative assembly.
After the 1992 peace accords, the road for the FMLN to become a political force in the country was not an easy one; it took a long time to get there.
It was not until the 2009 elections that the FMLN become the number one political force in the Legislative Assembly. In the 2009 legislative and municipal elections, the FMLN political party became the country’s number one political force.
In these elections, the left-wing party obtained 35 deputies out of 84 that make up the Legislative Assembly. In the 2009 elections, The right-wing political party ARENA suffered its biggest electoral defeat since the peace accords.
In the 2012 elections, the FMLN lost 4 seats, which lowered them to 31 deputies or congressmen. In the 2015 elections, the FMLN kept the same number of deputies, 31.
By 2018, the FMLN decline was evident; in the 2018 elections, the FMLN lost 8 seats that dropped them to 23. Finally, the 2018 legislative elections gave the left-wing political party the worst defeat; in this election, the FMLN won only 4 congressional seats out of 84.
There are many versions of why the FMLN lost its political power in 2021. The vast majority of Salvadorans believe that the decline of the FMLN is due to the corruption of Mauricio Funes, its first president. And the absence of its second president, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, who only gave a total of 15 press conferences in five years.
Another reason the FMLN lost its political capital was the expulsion of Nayib Bukele. Since 2015, Bukele was the most popular politician in the FMLN party.
It is uncertain what will happen with the FMLN political party after the tremendous defeat in the 2021 elections.
The FMLN Presidents.
The FMLN was the Republic of El Salvador’s ruling party from 2009 to 2019; they controlled the executive branch of the government.
Ex-president Mauricio Funes. (2009 to 2014)
The left-wing political party ascended to Executive Power in 2009 with former President Mauricio Funes. Funes was a charismatic radio personality that captivated enough votes in the general election to become president.
Even though Funes and his administration did accomplish many things that helped many Salvadorans. The Mauricio Funes presidency is remembered for two things; the first is the allegations of corruption. The second is the truce between gangs that the government helped create.
The Salvadoran government has charged Funes with multiple counts, including corruption, money laundering, and illicit enrichment. These allegations against Funes are a significant reason why the FMLN lost political power in 2021.
Additionally, the Funes administration negotiated a truce between the two most extensive Salvadoran gangs. The goal of the gang truce was to reduce violence; however, it backfired as this truce gave the criminal organizations more power and control of jails.
As of this date, Funes remains in Nicaragua, fighting against the Salvadoran government’s extradition requests and saying that he is innocent of all the charges.
Ex-president Salvador Sanchez Ceren. (2014 to 2019)
The second presidency for the left-wing political party didn’t go well. The Sanchez Ceren presidency is remembered for the levels of violence the country suffered and the absence of the president.
When Sanchez Ceren took office, the gang truce negotiated by his predecessor was over; therefore, the country was witnessing the fruits of the failed gang truce in all the violence.
Because of the Funes gang truce, the gangs were even more powerful and violent; for example, in 2017, the daily homicide rate was 10.8. Yes, that is correct; during the Sanchez Ceren presidency, the country had almost 11 murders per day for an entire year.
Also, during his entire five-year term, ex-president Ceren was absent. You could go weeks without knowing anything about the president or seeing him. There are some speculations that ex-president Sanchez Ceren was ill during his presidency. Still, thus far, that is all they are.
Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, FMLN.
Since its formation, the left-wing political party has had many moments of high achievement; however, they have had many bad ones.
In 2021, the FMLN political party is certainly unpopular. As previously stated, the reasons range from the ex-presidents all the way to the current president Nayib Bukele.