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El Salvador History Timeline

Map of El Salvador
Locator Map of El Salvador

El Salvador's Information

Flag of El Salvador
Land Area 20,721 km2
Water Area 320 km2
Total Area 21,041 km2
Population 6,156,670
Population Density 292.60 / km2
Government Type Presidential Republic
GDP (PPP) $54.79 Billion
GDP Per Capita $8,900
Currency Dollar (USD)
Largest Cities
  • San Salvador (525,990)
  • Soyapango (329,708)
  • Santa Ana (176,661)
  • San Miguel (161,880)
  • Mejicanos (160,317)
  • Santa Tecla (124,694)
  • Apopa (112,158)
  • Delgado (71,594)
  • Sonsonate (59,468)
  • San Marcos (54,615)
  • (1524) Spanish adventurer, Pedro de Alvarado, conquered El Salvador
  • (1540) El Salvador became Spanish colony
  • (1811) El Salvador fought Spain in first battle for independence
  • (1821) El Salvador gained independence from Spain
  • (1823) El Salvador became part of United Provinces of Central America with Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua following independence from Mexico
  • (1840) United Provinces of Central America dissolved, El Salvador became fully independent
  • (1854) Earthquake destroyed San Salvador
  • (1859 - 1863) Coffee growing introduced by President Garardo Barrios
  • (1932) 30,000 people killed during peasant uprising led by social activist and Communist leader, Agustin Farabundo Marti; El Salvador army killed 4,000 farmers
  • (1961) Right-Wing National Conciliation Party came to power after military coup
  • (1969) After eviction of Salvadoran illegal immigrants from Honduras, brief war known as Soccer War, between El Salvador and Honduras occurred
  • (1977) General Carlos Romero elected president; Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) engaged in guerrilla activities
  • (1979 - 1981) Army-backed right wing death squads killed over 30,000 people
  • (1979) General Romero ousted in coup
  • (1980) Jose Napoleon Duarte became first civilian president since 1931; human rights activist and archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero, assassinated
  • (1980 - 1992) During 12-year civil war, human rights violations by government security forces, left-wing guerrillas were rampant
  • (1981) FMLN recognized as legitimate political force by France, Mexico; more than 1,000 civilians killed in anti-guerrilla campaign in El Mazote by Salvadoran armed forces trained by US military; US Embassy in San Salvador damaged by attack
  • (1982) Parliamentary elections won by National Republican Alliance (ARENA)
  • (1984) Duarte re-elected as president
  • (1985) Four off-duty US Marines, 9 others killed at sidewalk restaurant in San Salvador by guerillas
  • (1986) Duarte began negotiating settlment with FMLN; earthquake struck San Salvador, US provided $60 million emergency aid, reconstruction money
  • (1989) Alfredo Crisiani, ARENA party, elected president, elections believed to have been rigged; FMLN intensified attacks; Salvadoran army attacked hospital, raped, killed patients
  • (1991) FMLN, government signed peace agreement sponsored by UN
  • (1992) El Salvador's government officials, rebel leaders signed pact to end 12-year civil war which left 75,000 dead
  • (1993) Amnesty granted to people implicated by UN-sponsored commission for human rights atrocities
  • (1994) Armando Calderon Sol, ARENA candidate, elected president
  • (1997) Depositors in Credi Club bank scandal lost $11 million; 22 murders a day took place in El Salvador during the year
  • (1998) Hurricane Mitch killed over 4,000; Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador agreed to build $2 billion railroad network linking Central America and Mexico
  • (1999) Francisco Flores, ARENA candidate, elected president
  • (2000) 10-year agreement for drug surveillance missions to be flown from from Comalapa Airport signed between El Salvador and US; Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras reached free-trade agreement with Mexico
  • (2001) Earthquakes killed 1,200; over one million homeless, damages of $1 billion; over 100 small earthquakes hit El Salvador in 24 hours; drought caused 80% loss of crops; US dollar adopted as official currency
  • (2002) US-based Salvadoran army generals ordered to compensate victims for civil war atrocities
  • (2003) 360 Salvadoran troops sent to Iraq; El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala agreed to free-trade agreement with US
  • (2004) ARENA candidate, Tony Saca, elected president; inmates at a San Salvador prison fought each other with knives, 31 people dead, 24 injured
  • (2005) Investigation of 1981 massacre of hundreds of peasant famers in El Mozote reopened by OAS human rights court, considered to be one of worst atrocities of civil war; Ilamatepec volcano erupted, two killed, thousands fled; Tropical Storm Stan caused major flooding, landslides, 72 killed, over 50,000 evacuated; "Operation International" captured 660 dangerous gang members during raids in El Salvador, US, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico
  • (2006) El Salvador first Central American country to implement regional free trade agreement with US; protest march by thousands of street vendors, university students, labor unionists in San Salvador against free trade accord with US; common customs system to allow residents to cross borders without passports or visa agreed to by Central American presidents
  • (2007) Three members of ARENA party murdered in Guatemala
  • (2008) El Salvador had world's highest murder rate
  • (2009) ARENA party won largest number of seats in local elections; former Marxist rebel, Mauricio Funes of FMLN party, won presidential election; Funes restored diplomatic relations with Cuba; floods, landslides killed 140, left thousands homeless
  • (2010) US granted 18-months (Until January 2012) temporary legal status to people from Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras due to devastation caused by 1998 Hurricane Mitch; 14 passengers killed by gang members who set bus on fire near capital in El Salvador

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