El Salvador: An End to the Bloodletting?

An End to the Bloodletting?

A crackle of gunfire from the Guazapa volcano in El Salvador's heartland cut through the din of New Year's Eve revelry. But the bursts were not the usual barrage of death. Instead, rebels of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front were sending up a celebratory salvo on learning that their negotiators had at last arrived at a peace accord with the conservative government of President Alfredo Cristiani.

If all goes according to plan, a Feb. 1 cease-fire will end the 12-year civil war that has claimed 75,000 lives and made El Salvador a synonym for bloodshed and human-rights abuses. Once disarmed,...

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