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“Dirty” Campaigns

The Solidarity Force (Fuerza Solidaria), an ARENA backing organization, recently ran television adds that connect a photograph of Mauricio Funes, to the FMLN icon, to a photograph of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The FMLN acted immediately, calling the Tribunal Suprema Electoral (TSE) to take a strong position in ensuring clean campaigns and a transparent electoral process.

FMLN representatives have accused the ARENA campaign of using “scare tactics” to win votes as they remain about 10% behind the FMLN in public opinion polls.

This particular smear campaign is seen as even more dangerous with the approaching XVIII Cumbre Iboamericana to be held in San Salvador in coming weeks. President Chavez is supposed to attend but is currently refusing to participate in the conference set to discuss “Childhood and Development” because of fear for his security.

All of this conflict comes only a few weeks after FMLN candidate Mauricio Funes and ARENA candidate Rodrigo Avila both signed a decree calling for non-confrontational campaigns and a non-violent electoral process.

(See for articles)

Fuerza Solidaria Ad Video, “Riesgosos” (Risky):


ARENA and party affiliates continue to deny they are running a “dirty campaign” or “dirty war” in the media. Addtionally, a representative who once ran for President of Venezuela and now represents the Fuerza Solidaria has called on FMLN Candidate Mauricio Funes to “speak frankly” about his relationship with current Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Jaíme Handal, who ran unsuccesfully for Mayor of San Salvador for the ARENA party, is now the face of Fuerza Solidaria. ARENA Presidential candidate Rodigo Avila has said that he considers Handal an important part of the ARENA party.


Anna Sanger. SHARE Foundation. Grassroots Education and Advocacy Intern.


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