INTRODUCTION: War-torn El Salvador is due to go to the polls in March next year in the hope that a return to free elections will put an end to the civil war which has shattered El Salvador during the past two years.
SCU Dr. Jorge Bustamante speaking in English
RV Soldiers, PAN procession. (2 SHOTS)
Sv Soldiers in crowd.
SV Service. (2 SHOTS)
GV PAN Procession.
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPTS) (SEQ 1) BUSTAMANTE: "We are hoping to get the majority of the Salvadorean people to the polls next March in order to end with this terrible situation through which Salvador has been going in the past couple of years. The guerrilla is still active in some parts of the country but is diminishing considerably. That, i think, is due to the fact that the people are beginning to believe in elections again. We do not blame the people for not believing in elections because in this country we have not had a free election in over 50 years."
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Background: INTRODUCTION: War-torn El Salvador is due to go to the polls in March next year in the hope that a return to free elections will put an end to the civil war which has shattered El Salvador during the past two years. But optimism was expressed by Dr. Jorge Bustamante, head of the Central Electoral Committee, when he expressed his view of the 1982 elections.
SYNOPSIS: In the meantime, the civil war waged between the armed forces of the right-wing junta which rules El Salvador and the left-wing guerrillas who control much of the country. In the small town of Suchitoto, heavy fighting had taken place the day before this army patrol arrived. Yet, with remarkable determination, the people of Suchitoto carried on with a religious procession dedicated to the return of peace to their town.
The behaviour of both government troops and guerrillas in this war has inflicted horrifying casualties on the civilian population. It is estimated that something in excess of 20,000 people have been killed since the beginning of 1980, when the war became widespread.
Nobody expects the elections to solve El Salvador's troubles. But the government sees it as a possible way out of the violence sweeping across this Central America republic.