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El Salvador - Policy

At least until the beginning of the armed conflict in 1980, the routine, daily tasks assigned to the armed forces were mostly in the field of public safety, that is, the direction of the police forces. The National Police, created in 1912, was always led by officers of the army whose training did not necessarily coincide with police functions. The very policemen were frequently former soldiers brought into the force with no prior training in police duties. The other security force in existence until 1992, the National Guard (Guardia Nacional) had also been created in 1912 as rural police force and, as in the case of the National Police, had always been under military direction; in fact, the training of its members and the arms they carried were more in line with an institution designed for war than for police duties, as was evidenced in the important role the National Guard played together with the regular army during the war with Honduras in 1969. A police whose rank and file had received military training did not mesh with a democratic state, a reason that led to the decision, after long discussions, to replace it with a new police force. Thus, the country went from various police forces under military direction to only one under civilian control with authority over the entire national territory. The armed forces were the most powerful adversary during the armed conflict and, since 1931, the arbiter of the nations political destiny. Already in the 1980s, in the midst of the civil war, the armed forces ceded their direct presence in the direction of the state and allowed civilians from a variety of political currents to exercise leadership. The reforms of the Constitution of the Republic approved in 1991 and reaffirmed in the Peace Accord left no doubt about the new role and mission of the armed forces: the defense of the sovereignty of the state and its territorial integrity, to which was added that the achievement of this mission is inseparable from democratic values and the strict respect for the Constitution in all its parts. It also set down that the armed forces are a permanent institution at the service of the nation characterized by being obedient, professional, apolitical and non-deliberative. But the provision that would have the most immediate and important implications and consequences for the countrys political development was stated in the following terms: The maintenance of internal peace, of tranquility, of order and public safety are beyond the ordinary mission of the Armed Forces as an institution responsible for the national defense; the Armed Forces could only become involved in these spheres in exceptional circumstances, when all other ordinary means have been tried". The military's new doctrine, professionalism, and complete withdrawal from political and economic affairs made it one of the most respected institutions in El Salvador. In El Salvador, the logics of war and peace coexisted during the long twelve years of civil war (1980-1992). The voices of those who called for peace or a ceasefire, at least, were silenced both by the threat of violence and by the belief that peace would only come to the country when one side overcame the other by force of arms. But as the war dragged on and no strictly military outcome was imminent, the voices that cried out for peace became stronger, both within the country and abroad. The Armed Forces mission is to defend the sovereignty of State and territorial integrity. The President of the Republic may exceptionally use the armed forces to maintain internal peace. According to Art. 212 of the Constitution of the Republic. The Armed Forces will collaborate in the works of benefit to the public by the Executive Body and shall assist the population in cases of national disaster. The Armed Forces to comply with its constitutional mandate defend state sovereignty and territorial integrity and exceptionally assist in the maintenance of internal peace and works of public benefit, and assist the civilian population in cases of national disaster, established nine (9) priority goals in 2012 referred to in the various institutional arrangements.

  1. Restructuring the Organization and Functioning of the FA. Transform the organizational structure of the armed forces, improving their capabilities, operational management and administrative processes that allow it adapt employment scenarios in which it participates.
  2. Restructuring and Strengthening of Logistics System. Update and streamline procedures, techniques and organization Logistic system of the armed forces that provide flexibility, opportunity, coordination and efficiency.
  3. Strengthening Military Mobilization System. Organize and coordinate the military mobilization system that allows forming units required in the planning of National Defense.
  4. Determination and obtaining financial resources . Finance projects of the Armed Forces integrating the different potential funding sources to achieve the objectives institutional.
  5. Updating the Doctrine of Education and Training Armed Forces. Update and create the doctrine of the armed forces, so that allow to have an education system and efficient, practical training and versatile to meet the constitutional mission and international commitments acquired by the state.
  6. Strengthening the military justice system. Update and implement the Military Justice System, according to the mission constitutional and military laws and regulations.
  7. Maintaining high levels of institutional projection, based on the professionalism and leadership. Strengthen the image of the Armed Forces, which allows support and recognition at national and international level.
  8. Restructuring and strengthening of Welfare and Social Security FA . Create conditions to ensure the welfare and social security members of the Armed Forces that is sustainable over time.
  9. Support for various government plans. To ensure national development and welfare of the civilian population, with school reconstruction projects, local roads, drilling wells and civic actions. Military and medical campaigns. Through the presence in areas with higher incidence criminal, patrols and joint operations by anti criminal.

The Armed Forces has assumed responsibility and commitment with the mission to support the National Civil Police in security tasks to protect Salvadoran families. This has generated confidence in the population and is giving us good results. Since 2009, after the issuance of Executive Order No. 60, the support of the armed forces public safety with the main objective to contribute to the achievement of maintaining internal peace and public safety in the country was established. After the issuance of Executive Order No. 2 in 2014, the Ary began to support the National Civil Police operations peacekeeping, with the planning and execution of joint preventive anti criminal operations. The decision by the government hat the Armed Forces units organize tasks immediate reaction to prosecute gangs. It is essential the work done by different commands and groups constituting the Campaign Plan New Dawn, with which actions aimed at different areas are executed, but all with the main objective of providing the peace and security that the Salvadoran population so badly need.

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