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Revolution or Death, We will win!
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El Salvador in struggle. Long live revolutionary unity
The Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (in Spanish: Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional, FMLN) was a Marxist coalition guerrilla movement that emerged in El Salvador in 1980, and has today become a major political party of the country, drawing membership from both old radicals and more moderate leftists.

On the 17th of December 1979, in period of national crisis, the three dominant Marxist organizations (FPL, RN and PCS) in El Salvador formed the Coordinadora Político-Militar. The CPM's first manifesto was released on 10th of January 1980, and the day afterwards the Coordinadora Revolucionaria de Masas was formed as a union of revolutionary mass organizations. CRM later merged with the Frente Democrático Salvadoreño to form the Frente Democrático Revolucionario.

On May 22nd, 1980, the Dirección Revolucionaria Unificada was created by the FPL, RN, EPL and PCS. DRU consisted of three Political Commission members from each of these four organizations. The DRU manifesto declared, "There will be only one leadership, only one military plan and only one command, only one political line."

On the 10th of October 1980 the four organizations formed the Frente Farabundo Martí de Liberación Nacional (FMLN). In December of the same year, the Salvadoran branch of the Partido Revolucionario de los Trabajadores Centroamericanos broke away from its central organization and affiliated itself to FMLN. Thus the following organizations composed FMLN (listed in the order of size at the time of the peace accords in 1992):

Youth organizations of FMLN at the time of armed struggle incuded:

  • Juventud Farabundista (FPL)
  • Juventud Comunista Salvadoreña (PCS)
  • Juventud Revolucionaria (PRS)
  • Jóvenes en Resistencia (RN)
  • Juventud los Muchachos (PRTC)

After the formation of the front, FMLN launched a major military offensive on the 10th of January 1981.

The organization was named for the rebel leader Farabundo Martí, who led workers and peasants in an uprising to transform Salvadoran society after the devastation caused by the eruption of the volcano Izalco in 1932. In response, the military regime led by General Maximiliano Hernández Martínez, who had seized power in a 1931 coup, launched an effective but brutal counterinsurgency campaign that saw 30,000 suspected guerrillas and Martí supporters killed.

After the ceasefire established by the 1992 Chapultepec Peace Accords, the FMLN became a legitimate political party. Its candidate for the 2004 presidential election was Schafik Handal.

Today there are two main tendencies within the party, the "ortodoxos" (mainly former Partido Comunista militants) and "renovadores" (mainly former FPL militants).


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