History of El Salvador

Antigua San Salvador – Carlos Quintanilla

The thumb of América

The civilization of El Salvador dates back to pre-Columbian times, around 1500 BC, as evidenced by the ruins of Tazumal and Chalchuapa. The first inhabitants were the Pocomames, Lencas, and Pipiles, who settled in the central and western zones of the country in the middle of the 11th century.

The Spanish Admiral Andres Niño conducted an expedition to Central America and landed on Meanguera Island, located in the Gulf of Fonseca, on May 31, 1522. This was the first Salvadoran territory visited by the Spaniards.

In June of 1524 the Spanish Captain Pedro de Alvarado began a war of conquest against Cuzcatlán (land of precious things) that was populated by the native tribes of the country. After 17 days of bloody battles many natives and Spaniards died, including the indigenous chief Atlacatl. Pedro de Alvarado defeated and wounded in his left hip, left the fight and retired to Guatemala, commissioning to his brother, Gonzalo de Alvarado, to continue with the conquest of Cuzcatlán. Later, his cousin Diego de Alvarado established the town of San Salvador in April 1525, at a place called La Bermuda, near the city of Suchitoto. In 1546, Carlos I of Spain granted San Salvador the title of city.

During the following years, the country evolved under Spanish rule. Towards the end of the year 1810 a feeling of freedom arose between the peoples of Central America and the moment of breaking the chains of slavery arrived in the early hours of November 5, 1811, when the Priest Jose Matías Delgado replied the bells of the Church La Merced In San Salvador, calling for insurrection. After many internal struggles, the Act of Independence of Central America was signed in Guatemala, on September 15, 1821. This day we commemorate the Independence Day of our land Cuzcatleca.

Important dates
El Salvador and Guatemala invite Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica to decide on the integration of a Constituent Assembly within the proposed Central American Federation (29 August).

Due to the expulsion of more than 11 thousand Salvadoran residents in Honduras, an undeclared war between the two countries is underway. Salvadoran forces invade Honduran territory. (July 14). An emergency meeting of the OAS approves the peace agreement between El Salvador and Honduras. (July 30).

Three of the leftist organizations unite to coordinate the fight against the government. (January 10). The Junta announces a radical plan for Agrarian Reform. (6th of March). Salvadoran Private Banking is nationalized. (7 of March). He is assassinated, while a Mass was celebrated the Archbishop of San Salvador Oscar Arnulfo Romero. (March 24th). José Napoleón Duarte is appointed Head of State (December 13).

José Napoleón Duarte announces the formation of a Constituent Assembly in 1982. (March 5). A new political party called the National Republican Alliance (ARENA) is legally formed. (September 30th)

Elections are held for the Constituent Assembly, Dr. Alvaro Magaña is appointed Provisional President. (28th March); Who forms his cabinet with representatives of different political institutes.

Elections are held for the President of the Republic and José Napoleón Duarte (1st of July)

Elections are held for Mayors and Deputies, obtaining a relative majority Christian Democratic Party and descollando as second political force ARENA.

Elections are again held for Mayors and Deputies and this time ARENA obtains the majority of Deputies in the Legislative Assembly, in addition to 178 Mayors of the 262 that exist in the country. Along with this they obtain by a great majority the Mayor’s Office of San Salvador, which had been in the hands of the Christian Democracy, for more than 20 years.

On March 19, presidential elections are held and elected by 54.7% of the electorate, Alfredo Félix Cristiani, candidate for the ARENA party. On November 11, the FMLN carries out an offensive which does not achieve the desired ends.

On 16 January 1992, the Peace Accords were signed in Chapultepec.