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Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front
Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN)

In 1932 Farabundo Marti together with workers and peasants utilised the devastation caused by the volcanic eruption of Izalco to lead an uprising in an attempt to transform Salvadoran society. In this aborted uprising over 30,000 workers and peasants were massacred.

Jimmy Carter approved a military aid package of 20 million dollars to fortify the "anti-subversive brigades". Ronald Reagan, a week after entering office, approved 60 million dollars in military aid and 54 military advisers. With these counter insurgency undertakings under the supervision and command of US military advisers the war acquired an ascending escalation. The Salvadorean Armed Forces began utilising counter insurgency tactics used in the Vietnam War El Salvador lived one of the bloodiest armed conflicts in Latin American history with a cost of more than 80,000 lives since 1979 to the end of the cease fire.


Formed in 1980 with Cuban backing, the guerrilla umbrella organization is composed of five leftist groups: Central American Workers' Revolutionary Party (PRTC), People's Revolutionary Army (ERP), Farabundo Marti Popular Liberation Forces (FPL), Armed Forces of National Resistance (FARN), and the Communist Party of El Salvador's Armed Forces of Liberation (FAL). The group reached a peace agreement with the Government of El Salvador on 31 December 1991.


Bombings, assassinations, economic sabotage, arson, among other rural and urban operations. Since 1988 the FMLN increased urban terrorism in the capital. The organization has not recently engaged in terrorist activity.


6,000 to 7,000 combatants.

Location/Area of Operation

El Salvador, limited activity in Honduras.

External Aid

Has received direct support from Cuba and receives support from the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, where it maintains an office. The FMLN also receives significant financial support from front groups and sympathetic organizations in the United States and Europe.

Sources and Resources

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Created by John Pike
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Updated Saturday, August 08, 1998 7:35:41 AM