El Salvador: US admits interference in 2004 vote

July 19, 2008

Below is a July 10 statement from the Committees in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES). For more information, visit http://cispes.org.

During a recent heated meeting at the US Embassy in El Salvador, US ambassador Charles Glazer admitted to US intervention in the 2004 Salvadoran presidential elections.

The June 27 meeting was requested by a group of 12 US citizens who were taking part in a 10-day delegation organised by CISPES.

During the meeting, the group cited statements made by US State Department officials denouncing the leftist Farabundo Marti Liberation Front (FMLN) during the 2004 presidential campaign.

The delegates also referenced legislation moved in Congress that threatened to cut off remittances sent by Salvadorans in the US to their families in El Salvador should the FMLN win.

"The US Embassy in El Salvador never countered this absurd threat or clarified the impossibility of such legislation being passed", said Rosa Lozano, a delegate from Washington. "Ultimately, such intervention helped turn a close race for the presidency into a decisive victory for the right-wing National Republican Alliance (Arena)."

When asked directly if the US government had intervened in the 2004 presidential elections on behalf of Arena, Glazer replied in the affirmative.

"It's really quite remarkable", said Burke Stansbury, CISPES executive and a participant in the meeting. "CISPES and others have been crying foul since State Department intervention began in mid-2003 but the Embassy has always denied it played a role in President Saca's victory."

"But admitting fault last time is not enough", Stansbury insisted. "We will continue to demand that no such intervention occurs, not in 2009 nor ever again."

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