Supporters of ARENA party founder Roberto d’Aubuisson dedicated a monument in his honor in the San Salvador neighborhood of Antiguo Cuscatlan. The monument was installed through a pact between local government and COENA, the governing body of the ARENA party, which has ruled El Salvador since its founding in 1990.
The monument has angered many in El Salvador since D’Aubuisson has been linked to the assassination of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero by the Salvadoran Truth Commission established by the 1992 Peace Accords. He is also regarded as the intellectual author behind the Salvadoran Death Squads, which were responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Salvadorans during the country’s 12-year civil war 1980-1992.
The monument sits in the middle of a traffic circle outside one of San Salvador’s biggest US-style malls. It is a drab four-walled structure with a predictably huge, phallic flagstaff—armed with the Salvdoran flag–emerging from the center. In his glory days d’Aubuisson draped himself in the same flag, but it was US military and economic support that was the source of his power, not his ideas. His patriotic veneer was a sufficient cover for US-backed intervention in El Salvador, whose repercussions are felt everywhere in the country today.
The walls "immortalize" d’Aubuisson’s pliant wit through a series of four etched quotes.
"Patriotism Yes, Communism No"
"Present for the Fatherland"
"First El Salvador, Second El Salvador, Third El Salvador"
The dedication gathering was attended by ARENA party faithful. Their luxury cars and SUVs snagged the scant space available for parking around the busy traffic circle.