"Congress has maintained interest in El Salvador, a small Central American country that has a large percentage of its population living in the United States, since the country's civil conflict (1980-1992). Whereas in the 1980s the U.S. government spent billions of dollars supporting the Salvadoran government's efforts against the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) insurgency, the United States is now working with the country's second consecutive democratically-elected FMLN Administration. Despite the potential challenges involved for both sides, analysts predict that U.S.-Salvadoran relations will remain constructive during Salvador Sánchez Cerén's presidency, as they did during Mauricio Funes' term (2009-2014). El Salvador is facing significant economic and security challenges that the country is unlikely to be able to address without substantial external support. El Salvador posted an economic growth rate of just 1.4% in 2013, the lowest of any country in Central America. The government is running high deficits and attracting little foreign investment. Economists have cited security concerns as a barrier to investment. Although a truce between the country's gangs helped lower homicide rates in 2012 and 2013, it has unraveled and violent crime is increasing. […] This report examines current conditions in El Salvador as well as issues in U.S.-Salvadoran relations."
CRS Report for Congress, R43616