El Salvador Civil War Analysis

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To analyze the civil war in El Salvador one must understand what a civil war is. The best definition of such is: ‘Civil war exists when two or more opposing parties within a country resort to arms to settle a conflict or when a substantial portion of the population takes up arms against the legitimate government of a country. Within International Law, distinctions are drawn between minor conflicts like riots, where order is restored promptly, and full-scale insurrections finding opposing parties in political as well as military control over different areas. When an internal conflict reaches sufficient proportions that the interests of other countries are affected, outside states may recognize a state of insurgency. A recognition of insurgency, …show more content…
The government-supported military and paramilitary groups targeted anyone they suspected of supporting social and economic reform. Often the victims were unionists, clergy, independent farmers, and university officials. Over the ensuing twelve years, thousands of victims perished. Some of the most notable were Archbishop Oscar Romero (shot to death 1980), four US church workers (raped and murdered 1980) and six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter (shot to death at home 1989). The military death squads wiped-out entire villages believed to be assisting the guerrilla efforts. In 1981, the military killed over 1,000 people in the village of El Mozote. The first reports of the attacks were denied by both El Salvador and the United States, but after the mass graves were uncovered, it was hard to deny what had taken place.’ Due to professor Terry Lynn Karl, who researched expose on the Salvadoran army during the war, ‘the Salvadoran military had perpetrated heinous crimes during the war, and had done so under a strict chain of command. She showed that troops followed the orders of their commanding officers, and that those officers had the authority to curtail their soldier’s abusive actions.’ ‘As the military defended their stand of killing any alleged rebels, the FMLN also worked to blow-up bridges, cut power lines, destroy coffee plantations and anything else to damage the economy that supported the government. The FMLN also murdered and kidnapped government officials. As time passed, guerrilla efforts became more advanced. The FMLN progressed from using machetes and small pistols to using grenade launchers and other imported arms. Their advances became more strategic and better planned.’ The outcome of the twelve years long war was disastrous and had significant ‘imprint on the nation’s psyche. The statistical consequences of the war testify to its devastating impact. In a country