On March 15, 2009 Mauricio Funes won the presidential election in El Salvador. He was the candidate from the Farabundo Marti para la Liberacion Nacional (Farabundo Marti for National Liberation), FMLN, left wing party.
A few days before the election a U.S. House Republican representative, Dana Rohrabacher(CA) said, “El Salvador’s election is on Sunday. If an ally of Al-Qaeda and Iran comes to power in El Salvador, the national security interests of the United States will require certain immigration restrictions and controls over the flow of the $4 billion in annual remittances sent from the U.S. back home to El Salvador.” Also Dan Burton (R-IN) made similar remarks. The mainstream media in El Salvador provided extensive coverage of the Republicans’ statements. This was a scare tactic where many Salvadorian news media reported that the TPS program (Temporary protection status) would be eliminated by U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) for Salvadorian U.S. Residents
However, two days before the election the U.S. Embassy delivered a strong statement of neutrality distancing the Obama administration from the threats of the Republican representatives and promising to work with whichever party won.
Additionally many Salvadorian citizens were threaten by their employers and were told that they had to vote for Arena or be fired and even demanded employees to take a picture of their ballot to verify that they had cast their vote for right wing ARENA, Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (National Republican Alliance).
The night before the election there were reports of foreigners from neighboring Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras being bussed in and housed overnight in public government buildings and the national ARENA headquarters. Observers also saw dozens of mattresses trucked in and rapidly unloaded. In both instances ARENA officials appeared on the scene without a reasonable explanation for what was going on.
These foreigners were given fraudulent DUIs, Documentos Unicos de Identidad (Unique Identification Documents). There were reports of foreigners trying to pass as Salvadorian citizens and even a local TV reported a “Nicaraguan who had apparently voted 3 times in San Miguel before being caught by authorities.” Arena had also refused to supply equipment allowing poll workers to verify DUIs, there was no way to check the real identity of any voters.
FMLN members woke up at 2:00 am on election day to watch over the roads leading to the municipalities to prevent illegal voters from entering their towns. In San Salvador and San Miguel local residents as well as FMLN activist locked arms and sealed off buildings where foreigners were housed, vowing not to let anyone leave on election day.
Despite all of these illegal fraudulent activities, FMLN won with 57% to 36% lead.
Title: Si Se Pudo! Notes from an Election Observer
Source: Because People Matter: Progressive News and Views, SacIndyNews, May/June 2009.
Author: Susan Scott
2009 El Salvador Elections Analysis: The Road to Victory and Beyond by CISPES
Thursday Mar 26th, 2009
Title: Dana Rohrabacher Speaks out on El Salvador Election, Clashes With Obama’s Administration
www.oc180news.com/…/ Dana _ Rohrabacher … El _ Salvador …/18445
Author: Dolores Barr, Editor and Publisher, OC180NEWS.com
Title:Despite familiar attempts at election fraud, the Left finally wins in El Salvador
Source: The Comment Factory
Author: Johan Boyden
Title: Funes acusa a ARENA de Fraguar un Fraude
Author: René Serrano, Liseth Alas, León López
Title: Nicaraguenses a Votar en el Salvador, Camino al Al Fraude 2009
Author: Agencias internacionales en Contrapunto
Student Researcher: Nohemi Castaneda Martinez
Faculty Evaluator: Patricia Kim-Rajal, Chicano/Latino Studies.
Sonoma State University