Controversial former president Molina dies

Arturo Armando Molina. Photo: Courtesy Molina Family.
Editorial Dept. Voz de la Diaspora

Former Salvadoran President Arturo Armando Molina died at the 94 years and many remember him for acts that went unpunished in his mandate of 1972 a 1977, others for works promoted by his government and also for the jokes he generated.

Colonel Molina died in San Francisco, California. He was the third of four military rulers backed by the National Conciliation Party (PCN) between 1962 Y 1979.

Molina assumed his mandate on 1 July 1972 amid allegations of fraud to the Christian Democratic candidate, Jose Napoleon Duarte, supported by the National Opposition Union (ONE). Duarte tried the 25 In March of that year, a coup d'etat with the help of officers led by Colonel Benjamín Mejía. Duarte went into exile and Mejía was assassinated in the early 1990s. 1980.

The new head of government of the military dynasty ordered the army, the police and the national guard who will occupy the University of El Salvador (UES) 18 days after taking power because that study center was a refuge for revolutionaries.

And the 30 July 1975 A demonstration of UES students protesting military repression was massacred at the Centro Universitario de Occidente. The peaceful march of hundreds of students was ambushed by soldiers and agents of the National Guard who used armored vehicles when passing on the 25 north avenue at the height of the overpass.

It was never known how many died or were injured but it is assumed that at least 30 died and dozens were captured, some injured, thrown on trucks that picked them up and took them to an unknown destination. The Defense Minister was General Carlos Humberto Romero, who succeeded Molina in power, but three months after assuming power he was overthrown by the Military Youth on 15 October 1979.

The student massacre happened 11 days after El Salvador hosted the Miss Universe pageant and official propaganda identified it as "the country of smiles".

El Diario de Hoy said when alluding to Molina's death that “perhaps he will always be remembered for the motto ´definición, decision and firmness, for his mustache, hearty speeches and a neat guayabera ".

And that allusion of the morning are the topics with which numerous jokes were created and before which the ruler asked someone to tell them..

In his five years of government, programs and works were promoted such as the beginning of the construction of the International Airport in Comalapa today San Oscar Arnulfo Romero with whom he had communication levels that the Catholic prelate broke when the 12 March 1977 the Jesuit priest was assassinated by agents of the National Guard, Rutilio Grande and the 11 May, state agents also killed the priest, Alfonso Navarro. The crimes were never investigated.

Also in his period, the Hotel Presidente was built and the Ahuachapán Geothermal Plant was expanded., the Military Hospital and Saburo Hirao Park, In addition, the National Pension Institute was created (INPEP).

But among the most important projects in its management, prior to the start of the civil war, was creation in 1974 of the state espionage apparatus identified as the National Security Agency of El Salvador (Ansesal), which was later directed by Major Roberto D´aubuisson, later founder of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance party (Arena).

Ansesal collected information and published lists with names of politicians in the security forces and army barracks, leftist leaders, human rights defenders and opponents.

That agency was another instrument of repression that succeeded the Nationalist Democratic Organization. (Order) established in 1964 by Colonel José Alberto Medrano and that for 1974 mobilized between 100,000 Y 150,000 members, the majority peasants to support the military governments of the time.