The Armed Forces of El Salvador (FAES) has had a broad empathy with the population within the framework of its constitutional role, which mandates that it “collaborate in works of public benefit entrusted to it by the Executive Branch and will assist the population in cases of national disaster.
The military institution, which by constitutional mandate is subordinate to the authority of the President of the Republic, has played an important role in the health emergency resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, has participated in the care of other contingencies, and has recently assisted families who have been affected by weather events, such as Tropical Storm Bonnie.
It delivered food packages throughout the country, combated the plague of locusts in crops, extinguished forest fires and supported the transfer of vaccines against COVID-19.
The Passionist Social Service (SSPAS) tried to misrepresent and delegitimize the role that the FAES is playing by constitutional mandate, an approach that was taken up by written media related to the political opposition.
The SSPAS study called “Changes and continuities in the role of the FAES in citizen security 1992-2022” says that it responds with subordination to the president of the republic, Nayib Bukele.
The study also seeks to confuse when it maintains that the FAES responds to President Bukele and that it obeys when the ruler makes a reference to the armed institution.
But the same Constitution also establishes that the Armed Forces, in addition to being a permanent institution at the service of the nation, is an obedient entity that is part of the Executive Branch.
The governments of ARENA and the FMLN were characterized by sullying the military institution with acts that ranged from tampering with the promotion processes, the elimination of their house of higher education, and the increase in years for promotion to the next higher rank in participating in foreign armed conflicts.
El Salvador had a military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, countries that were invaded by the United States after the fall of Saddam Hussein and the Taliban, respectively.
The Salvadoran troops sent to Iraq, where they suffered fatal casualties, began their mission in 2003, during the Francisco Flores administration, and continued throughout the five-year period of the Antonio Saca administration.
The FMLN government of Mauricio Funes, meanwhile, sent soldiers to Afghanistan, where they remained for 32 months, training the new Afghan army after the fall of the Taliban.