The previous four chapters have been dedicated to reconstructing the microhistory of the last years of El Salvador’s long and contentious transition to democracy. This ‘thick description’ was necessary because there exists no detailed chronology, particularly based on direct interviews and research from historical documents, on the internal dynamics of peace building in the Salvadoran negotiations. I want to conclude with a series of remarks that revolve around two major points: first, that the impetus to political change in El Salvador was mainly internal; and second, that the potential for a negotiated settlement emerged from a rift in relations between the oligarchy and the military leadership.
KeywordsArmed Force Senior Officer Truth Commission Peace Building Negotiate Settlement
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
Notes and References
- 1.On comparative transitions, see inter alia Baloyra 1987; Morales and McMahon, 1996; Buitelaar and van Dijck, 1996.Google Scholar
- 2.On negotiating civil war, see Zartman, 1995, and Mason and Fett, 1996. On international multilateral negotiation, see Zartman, 1994, and Orme, 1996.Google Scholar
- 3.Cristiani’s motives throughout the negotiations were a point of some contention for both analysts and practitioners. In general, the financial and business communities agreed that the Cristiani administration created macroeconomic conditions which would allow them to regard El Salvador as a participant in the global economy. In October of 1996, for example, Standard and Poors rated El Salvador’s foreign currency at BB and its local currency at BBB+. It followed up with a report naming the country’s banking system, privatized under Cristiani, as one of the most efficient and profitable in the developing world. Development economists (see works by Boyce, Woods, Segovia, Conroy, 1995) also conceded that his administration had succeeded in modernizing the economy, but took issue with its inattention to poverty alleviation and with the benefits Cristiani and his cohorts derived from its reforms, especially the privatization of the financial system.Google Scholar
- 4.Morales and McMahon, introduction.Google Scholar
- 5.Morales and McMahon (1996) cite Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil as three cases of Latin American transitions where the first democratic administrations failed to achieve macroeconomic stability, followed by second administrations whose impact on the political economy far outlasted their terms.Google Scholar
- 6.‘El problema no son los militares, sino el conjunto de todo.’Google Scholar
- 7.‘Fuimos los pavos de la fiesta.’Google Scholar