POLC99 Lecture 4 – January 25
Revolutionary Struggles: El Salvador + Peru
Chronology of key events in El Salvador
1932: Lo Matatanza (Slaughter) it was an indigenous peasant uprising met by
severe repression from the state. Agusto Farabundo Marti—a dedicated
Communist, led the revolt. 30,000 peasants were slaughtered as a result of the
uprising. He died during that slaughter.
1980: The Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) forms. It was a
coalition of Marxists and much more predisposed to electoral politics. The
revolution was the last resort. The state targeted civilians who supported the
FMLN. 1,000/month were being killed.
1981: January 10, FMLN launched the first major offensive. The political context in
1981 was going against them, however. They started setting up schools, clinics and
then growing from that territory. Many final offensives were launched.
1989: November, FMLN carries out its largest offensive. They were controlling a
large amount of territory by that time. Negotiated solution.
1992: The government of El Salvador and the FLMN signed a peace accord to end
1993: The truth commission released a report stating that ~75,000 casualties.
According to the observers 80% of deaths were blamed on government. Was it a
victory or a defeat?
1997: FMLN won the mayoral race and became the major opposition party in
2009: June, President Mauricio Funes of FMLN wins election
Chronology of key events in Peru
1980: The Shining Path initiates a ruthless gorilla war aimed at destroying the
1985: The Shining Path began to make headway into the capital city of Lima,
making everyone scared. Starts to blow up electricity station and detonating car
bombs near the palace.
1989: An average of 6 Peruvians were dying each day.
1992: The Shining Path leader Guzman captured and the movement falls apart
overnight. Truth 2003: Commission came out in Peru, 69,280 casualties. Most of
these victims were the indigenous peasants in the countryside. The government was
responsible for 44.5% of the victims and 54% was attributed to the Shining Path
and 1.5% MRTA movement.
Similarities and Difference between the FMLN and the Shining Path