El Salvador Up Against Hard Realities

An ongoing war and a crippled economy dim Duarte's high hopes

Two years ago El Salvador seemed to be at the threshold of an era of peace and progress. Jose Napoleon Duarte had just been sworn in as the country's first freely elected civilian President in more than half a century, and his platform promised an end to a bloody civil war that was then nearly five years old. The new President boldly proposed peace talks with the Marxist rebels, then met their leaders at a church in La Palma, a town in guerrilla-held territory. Buoyed by generous aid from the U.S., Duarte vowed to revitalize the country's moribund economy. Today, however,...

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