Tomorrow, March 15, is election day in El Salvador. In a country that is still healing from a 12-year civil war (1980 – 1992) and where issues of poverty and violence are very real, there is much at stake in this presidential election. Although El Salvador has a democratic government, their electoral process has not always been free and fair; both fraud and fear are running rampant. Unlike the past, thankfully, the US State Department has issued statements indicating that our government will not interfere, that it does not support either candidate, that it will respect the will of the Salvadoran people, and that it will work constructively with whoever is elected. Unfortunately, though, this week some of our US congressional leaders threatened to cut off remittances (money that Salvadorans in the US send back to support their families in El Salvador) if the FMLN (opposition) candidate wins. The polls show that the FMLN candidate has a significant lead over the ARENA candidate, whose party has held the presidency since the end of the war. There is much political unrest and the threat of substantial and violent retaliation on both sides is very real. Please join me in praying for the people of El Salvador, that their electoral process will be free and fair, and that both peace and the will of the Salvadoran people will prevail.
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