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Chapter 7 – Peace Accords & Post-war

El Salvador’s civil war officially ended in 1992, but the country continues to experience deep divisions and ongoing issues of inequality, insecurity, violence, and lack of access to justice. By the late 1980s, the civil war had reached a stalemate: neither the guerrillas nor the government was able to achieve total victory. UN-brokered peace negotiations began in 1990, and an agreement known as the “Chapultepec Peace Accord” was signed by representatives of both sides in January 1992. The FMLN guerrillas agreed to disarm and became a legal political party. The size of the Salvadoran Armed Forces was reduced, and the police forces were disbanded and replaced by a new civilian police force. In 1993, a UN Truth Commission found that over 75,000 civilians had been killed during the conflict, and established that government forces had committed over 90% of the human rights violations during the war. However, an amnesty law passed by the Salvadoran legislature in 1993 blocked investigations and trials for these crimes. In this chapter, residents of Arcatao talk about how they viewed the peace accords and discuss some of the challenges facing El Salvador today.