José Napoleón Duarte


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(b. 23 Nov. 1925, d. 23 Feb. 1990).

President of El Salvador 1980–2, 1984–9 A co‐founder of the Christian Democrat Party in 1960, he supported the reformist military coup of 15 October 1979 and continued to work with the military junta even after the parties to the left, notably the Socialists and Communists, broke away in 1980 to form the oppositional left‐wing Frente Farabundo Martí de Liberación Nacional (FMLN, National Liberation Front). During the ensuing civil war (1981–92) his dependence on military support continued even in his second term in office, which he served as an elected President largely because the FMLN parties had boycotted the elections. He was unable to mediate in the war, or to stop the human rights abuses of the military and its associated death squads.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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