By Erik Ching

In December 1931, El Salvador’s civilian president, Arturo Araujo, used to be overthrown in an army coup. Such an occasion was once hardly ever particular in Salvadoran heritage, however the 1931 coup proved to be a watershed. Araujo have been the nation’s first democratically elected president, and even supposing nobody can have foreseen the end result, the coup ended in 5 a long time of uninterrupted army rule, the longest run in sleek Latin American background. moreover, six weeks after coming to energy, the hot army regime oversaw the crackdown on a peasant uprising in western El Salvador that's one of many worst episodes of state-sponsored repression in sleek Latin American background. Democracy wouldn't go back to El Salvador until eventually the Nineties, and merely then after a brutal twelve-year civil warfare. In Authoritarian El Salvador: Politics and the Origins of the army Regimes, 1880-1940, Erik Ching seeks to provide an explanation for the origins of the army regime that got here to strength in 1931. in accordance with his complete survey of the extant documentary list in El Salvador’s nationwide archive, Ching argues that El Salvador used to be typified by means of a longstanding culture of authoritarianism courting again to the early- to mid-nineteenth century. the elemental buildings of that procedure have been in response to patron-client relationships that wove neighborhood, neighborhood, and nationwide political actors into complicated webs of rival patronage networks. Decidedly nondemocratic in perform, the method however exhibited hugely paradoxical characteristics: it remained steadfastly unswerving to elections because the mechanism through which political aspirants got workplace, and it hired a political discourse encumbered with appeals to liberty and loose suffrage. That mixing of nondemocratic authoritarianism with populist reformism and rhetoric set the precedent for army rule for the following fifty years.

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Authoritarian El Salvador: Politics and the Origins of the Military Regimes, 1880-1944 (From the Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies) by Erik Ching


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