El Salvador stands out as exceptional in the history of modern Latin America for some tragic reasons: its duration of military rule (1931–1979), the scale of its government-ordered mass execution of citizens (1932), and its distinctly brutal civil conflict (1980–1992). These episodes, and many others like them, are the consequence of modern El Salvador’s history as a deeply divided society.
This article by Erik Ching is a selection from The Oxford Handbook of Central American History, edited by Robert H. Holden.
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