My friend Danny Burridge recently wrote an article titled El Salvador: Promises, Perils and Reality published by the North American Congress on Latin America. In the article, he looks at the goals of Salvadoran civil society organizations on the left and whether Funes can and will achieve them. Here is an excerpt:
The peaceful and historic transfer of power in El Salvador reflects the consolidation of "formal" democracy, but deep social change and true democracy are still slightly beyond the horizon. Its years as a guerrilla organization and decades as an opposition party have left the FMLN as a largely hierarchical political organization. The party could build on its formidable grassroots network and work towards becoming an institution that facilitates democratic participation in government decision-making.
Funes will be under intense pressure from myriad interests to reduce the influence of El Salvador's diverse social movement and jettison his promised preferential option for the poor. Despite inevitable missteps, and critics' destabilizing discourses, the Salvadoran people will need to provide critical yet massive support to the Funes government in strengthening the paths toward true change.
Danny Burridge lives and works in San Salvador as the a coordinator for the Volunteer Missionary Movement.