El Salvador: Background and U.S. Relations [April 9, 2015]   [open pdf - 504KB]

"Congress has long maintained interest in El Salvador, a small Central American country that also has had 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 an insurgency led by the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), the United States is now working with the country's second democratically elected FMLN Administration. Analysts predict that U.S.-Salvadoran relations will remain constructive during Salvador Sánchez Cerén's presidency (2014-2019), as they did during former President Mauricio Funes's term (2009-2014). El Salvador currently faces significant economic and security challenges that the country is unlikely to be able to address without substantial support. El Salvador posted an economic growth rate of 2% in 2014, 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 major gangs helped lower homicide rates in 2012 and early 2013, it has since unraveled. Homicides increased by 57% in 2014."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43616
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