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Table 1.

Summary of Sixteen Patron-Client Influence Episodes in El Salvador's Civil War

DateU.S. GoalStrategyCompliance
1980 Christian Democrats to join junta conditionality high 
1980 prevent military coup conditionality high 
1980 improve in human rights in return for helicopters conditionality lowa 
1980 restructure junta under President Duarte and purge of human rights abusers conditionality high 
1980 control human rights abuses and death squads inducement low 
1981–83 sustain junta reforms and reduce human rights abuses inducement low 
1981–91 adapt the ESAF for counterinsurgency by embracing small unit tactics inducement low 
1981 prevent right-wing coup and move missionary murder case forward conditionality high 
1981–84 improve human rights standards, ensure elections, defend land reform, and investigate murders of missionaries and land-reform experts conditionality lowc 
1982 include Christian Democrats in a coalition government conditionality high 
1982 defend the “land-to-the-tiller” program conditionality high 
1983 Bush's “new contract”: condemn death squad violence, support elections, defend land reform, pursue murder investigations conditionality high 
1984–85 implement economic austerity measures conditionality high 
1984–86 prosecute additional suspects in land-reform murders conditionality lowd 
1990 promote ESAF cooperation with Jesuit investigation conditionality lowe 
1990–91 prosecute Jesuit murders and negotiate with the FMLN conditionality high 
DateU.S. GoalStrategyCompliance
1980 Christian Democrats to join junta conditionality high 
1980 prevent military coup conditionality high 
1980 improve in human rights in return for helicopters conditionality lowa 
1980 restructure junta under President Duarte and purge of human rights abusers conditionality high 
1980 control human rights abuses and death squads inducement low 
1981–83 sustain junta reforms and reduce human rights abuses inducement low 
1981–91 adapt the ESAF for counterinsurgency by embracing small unit tactics inducement low 
1981 prevent right-wing coup and move missionary murder case forward conditionality high 
1981–84 improve human rights standards, ensure elections, defend land reform, and investigate murders of missionaries and land-reform experts conditionality lowc 
1982 include Christian Democrats in a coalition government conditionality high 
1982 defend the “land-to-the-tiller” program conditionality high 
1983 Bush's “new contract”: condemn death squad violence, support elections, defend land reform, pursue murder investigations conditionality high 
1984–85 implement economic austerity measures conditionality high 
1984–86 prosecute additional suspects in land-reform murders conditionality lowd 
1990 promote ESAF cooperation with Jesuit investigation conditionality lowe 
1990–91 prosecute Jesuit murders and negotiate with the FMLN conditionality high 
a

Partial compliance derailed by Ronald Reagan's election

b

Conditions attached, but U.S. aid rushed in the wake of 1981 final offensive before Salvadoran government compliance

c

Congressional certification requirements subverted by the Reagan administration

d

Only $5 million in military aid out of $100 million was conditioned on resolving the case

e

Conditions attached to equipment specifically chosen so that “withholding these materials will not greatly affect the ESAF's basic ability to fight the war”

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