Francisco Gómez, a member of the Telecommunications Industry Workers Union (SITCOM), appeared on El Salvador’s national television station TVES this morning to denounce coercive actions by maquila factory owners to convince workers to vote for the right-wing ARENA party. He reported that a factory owner in the San Marcos free trade zone invited workers to a breakfast with Norman Quijano, candidate for ARENA, and that after Quijano left, the boss made threats against workers. Continue reading
On Monday March 3, during a celebration to commemorate International Women’s Day hosted by the first Lady and Secretary of Social Inclusion Vanda Pignato, FMLN presidential candidate Salvador Sánchez Cerén signed the “Defense of Women’s Civil and Political Rights Agreement.” Sánchez Cerén committed to continuing and further developing the programs started under the Funes government which benefit the rights of women and their full participation in politics.
Neither Norman Quijano nor his running mate René Portillo Cuadra were present at the event. Quijano justified the ARENA presidential ticket’s absence by saying many of the agreement’s components violate the party’s Christian principles. “When it mentions [in the agreement] that a woman’s body is her own, […] it’s saying that she can dispose of the fetus in her body, and that’s giving abortion the green light,” stated Quijano. He additionally cited a section that gives people “the right to marry whom they choose” as a potential pro-gay marriage statement, one which he could not support. Continue reading
Sister Cities delegation of international elections observers (Photo: Vic Hinterlang)
by U.S.-El Salvador Sister Cities
The weeks leading up to the first round of elections here were intense, full of last minute campaigning and fresh waves of fear spurred by the spiking crime and murder rate in the new year. To hear ARENA tell it, the crime wave was just another example of the FMLN and current president Mauricio Fune’s soft stance on crime, and a problem that won’t let up should there be another FMLN victory. Furthermore, they allege, the FMLN has actually been working with the gangs, having the gangs pressure people to vote for them. Continue reading
Former president, Francisco Flores, tried to flee the country by crossing the Guatemalan border hidden in a truck on Tuesday, January 28, according to president, Mauricio Funes. Flores who is currently under investigation for embezzling $15 million donated by the Government of Taiwan failed to appear Tuesday morning for a hearing. The legislative commission investigating Flores gave him an ultimatum and warned him that if he failed to appear in the afternoon, they would send the police to go find him.
Flores later appeared for the hearing, denying he had tried to flee the country. This scandal comes days before Election Day and as the current campaign manager for ARENA’s Norman Quijano this doesn’t look good for their candidate.
Update: Attorney General, Luis Martinez, issued a statement where he said that all of Flores’ assets have been frozen.
Photo: La Prensa Grafica
Yesterday, a legislative commission investigating former president Francisco Flores for possibly embezzling $15 million donated by the Government of Taiwan held a hearing (for background click here) to question the former Head of State, who is currently a campaign advisor to Norman Quijano, presidential candidate for the right−wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) party. The commission includes representatives of all political parties except ARENA who refused to participate.
ARENA candidate Quijano’s campaign has been sanctioned more than any other. (Photo: VerdadDigital.com)
According to El Salvador’s electoral authority, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) party has been sanctioned for violating electoral regulations more than any other party. Eugenio Chicas, President of the TSE, told the press, “The ARENA party has received 29 complaints and the UNIDAD Movement has around 7 complaints.”
Most recently, the TSE required that ARENA stop airing a TV commercial they determined slandered the leftist Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) candidate Salvador Sánchez Cerén, who is also the current Vice-President of the country.