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Historic Power Shift in El Salvador

For millions of ordinary El Salvadorians, the coming to power of Mauricio Funes heralds a new era in which priority will be given to the rights of downtrodden and indigenous

Funes has practically ended 130 years of right wing rule in El Salvador
that was marked by mass killings, coups, and widespread suppression of
indigenous people. Funes, a respected TV journalist won against his
main rival, Rodrigo Avila, a former police chief, who conceded defeat
on Sunday. With Funes at the realm, the smallest country in Latin
America has effectively joined the growing roster of socialist Latin American countries.

In a new report The Real News Network
covers the mood on the ground in the country and what people's
expectations are from the new government on social, economic and
political issues. Many people feel that the 20-year rule by the right
wing ARENA party catered to the interests of the wealthy that followed
U.S. policy prescriptions. For example, El Salvador has been the only
Latin American country with troops in Iraq.

The report also covers the election process. The election of Funes, the
country's first leader without the support of the powerful business
elite, was not challenge-free. Election observers, both domestic and
international, had to be mindful of past fraudulent practices by the
ARENA party such as forging false IDs for foreign voters to increase
the party's vote count. Remarkably, voters themselves through local
independent media and grass root activism, were reporting on potential
voting irregularities to ensure a smooth execution of elections.

Watch this report in its entirety on The Real News Network:

Historic Power Shift in El Salvador


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