On March 15, 2009, Mauricio Funes of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) declared victory in El Salvador’s presidential election. He defeated Rodrigo Avila, presidential candidate of the rightwing National Republican Alliance (ARENA) by 51.
The Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) has won a plurality in the Salvadoran National Assembly as well as a number of mayoral positions. The FMLN’s Jan. 18 electoral victory over the right-wing ARENA party strengthens its chances in the March 15 presidential election.
On July 2, protesters rallied against plans to privatize El Salvador’s water supply. Riot police attacked the protest with tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray. Over 100 people were injured and 14 were arrested.
On July 5, government police in San Salvador clashed with students who were protesting against rising public transportation costs and unemployment. The police brutally repressed the demonstration with gunfire and tear gas.