Violence against ARENA party members and supporters, particularly by FMLN or former FMLN members; state protection or redress available to victims [SLV40954.E]

Further to the information provided in SLV41201.E of 6 February 2003, La Prensa Gráfica reported on 30 March 2003 that the recent electoral campaign had seen a total of 12 members of political parties killed, all from the FMLN, ARENA and PCN parties. Earlier in the month, the National Civilian Police (Policía Nacional Civil, PNC) reported arresting suspects in 12 of the 20 homicides of political "supporters" (simpatizantes) that had occurred during the electoral campaign leading up to the March 16th elections (La Prensa Gráfica 6 Mar. 2003). The captures included the arrest of a person charged with killing an ARENA supporter after a political rally south of San Salvador on 23 February 2003, although police were unsure whether the accused supported a particular party (ibid.).

On protection available to political activists beyond that provided in SLV41201.E, a February 2003 article reports that ARENA had created its own protection force (unidad de choque) to protect its candidates and supporters in San Salvador (La Prensa Gráfica 21 Feb. 2003). The force, known as the Fifth Command (Quinto Comando), consisted of 200 activists led by an army colonel; ARENA claimed the activists would not be carrying firearms (ibid.).

Reports of attacks against ARENA members or supporters after the March elections could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


La Prensa Gráfica [San Salvador]. 30 March 2003. "Homenaje a militantes asesinados." [Accessed 9 Apr. 2003]

_____. 6 March 2003. David Marroquín. "Capturado por muerte de activista." [Accessed 9 Apr. 2003]

_____. 21 February 2003. Bernardo Valiente. "ARENA crea su propia 'UMO' para San Salvador." [Accessed 9 Apr. 2003]

Additional Sources Consulted

Central America Report [Guatemala City]. Jan.-Apr. 2003

IRB Databases

Latin American Weekly Report [London]. Jan.-Apr. 2003

Latinamerica Press [Lima]. Jan.-Apr. 2003

Internet sites and search engines, including:

Amensty International
El Diario de Hoy/El [San Salvador]. Apr. 2003.

Elecciones 2003

Human Rights Watch
La Prensa Gráfica [San Salvador]. Apr. 2003.

Diputados y Alcaldes3/4Elecciones 2003

Associated documents