Cease Fire: Chapultepec Peace Agreement

NEW YORK ACT (31 December 1991)

The Government of El Salvador and the Frente Farabundo Marti­ para la Liberacion Nacional (FMLN) hereby declare that they have reached definitive agreements which, combined with those previously signed at San Jose, Mexico City and New York, complete the negotiations on all substantive items of the Caracas Agenda and the New York "Compressed Negotiations". Their implementation will put a final end to the Salvadorian armed conflict.

An agreement has also been reached on all technical and military aspects relating to the separation of the warring parties and the cessation of the armed conflict, which includes the end of the military structure of the FMLN and the reintegration of its members, within a framework of full legality, into the civil, political and institutional life of the country.

The parties have also agreed that the cessation of the armed conflict shall take effect formally on 1 February 1992 and shall conclude on 31 October 1992.

A further meeting between the parties has been scheduled for 5 January 1992 to negotiate the timetable for implementing the agreements and the procedure for ending the military structure of the FMLN and reintegrating its members, within a framework of full legality, into the civil, political and institutional life of the country.

Such negotiations must be successfully concluded by 10 January 1992 at the latest. Otherwise, the parties undertake to accept, by 14 January 1992 at the latest, a formula for resolving outstanding issues to be proposed to them by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. The Final Peace Agreements will be signed at Mexico City on 16 January 1992.

The parties undertake to preserve the atmosphere necessary for maintaining and expanding the unilateral decisions which they have taken in order to avoid all military activity.

Chapultepec Agreement (16 January 1992)

Chapter VII: Cessation of the Armed Conflict

1. The cessation of the armed conflict (hereinafter referred to as the CAC) is a brief, dynamic and irreversible process of predetermined duration which must be implemented throughout the national territory of El Salvador. During the CAC, there shall be no substantive negotiations but only the measures necessary to put into practice the agreements reached during the negotiating process.

2. The CAC shall begin on 1 February 1992 (hereinafter referred to as D-Day) and shall be completed on 31 October 1992.

3. The CAC consists of four elements, as defined herein:

a. The cease-fire;

b. The separation of forces;

c. The end of the military structure of FMLN and the reintegration of its members, within a framework of full legality, into the civil, political and institutional life of the country;

d. United Nations verification of all the abovementioned activities.

This chapter also includes agreements on the restoration of public administration in conflict zones and the use of the mass media to promote reconciliation (see annexes E and F).

The cease-fire

4. The cease-fire shall enter into force officially on D-Day.

5. As of that date, each of the parties shall, as appropriate, refrain from carrying out any hostile act or operation by means of forces or individuals under its control, meaning that neither party shall carry out any kind of attack by land, sea or air, organize patrols or offensive manoeuvres, occupy new positions, lay mines, interfere with military communications or carry out any kind of reconnaissance operations, acts of sabotage or any other military activity which, in the opinion of ONUSAL, might violate the cease-fire, or any act that infringes the rights of the civilian population.

6. Official verification of compliance with the undertaking described in the preceding paragraph shall begin on D-Day. Any alleged violation of the cease-fire shall be investigated by ONUSAL.

7. During the period between the signing of this Agreement and D-Day, the two parties shall observe an informal cease-fire under which they undertake not to carry out any of the activities described in paragraph 5.

8. ONUSAL shall deploy its personnel and equipment during the informal cease-fire period, so as to be able to verify all aspects of the CAC as of D-Day.

Separation of forces

19. As of D-Day, the naval and air force components of the FAES shall refrain from carrying out any offensive operation. They shall carry out only such non-hostile missions as are necessary for the discharge of their duties unrelated to the armed conflict. ONUSAL shall be advised in advance of all military flight plans. Such flights shall not be carried out over places where FMLN forces have been concentrated.

21. With special reference to FAES forces deployed near places where there are FMLN forces, in other words, those listed in appendix 1 to annex A and those listed in appendix 1 to annex C, the Government agrees that such forces shall be authorized to leave their locations only with the consent of ONUSAL and for the following purposes:

a. To carry out troop rotations and relief;

b. To carry out liaison and coordination activities between commands at battalion level and above;

c. To deliver logistical supplies;

d. To take part in programmes for the deactivation, removal and destruction of mines;

e. To go on leave or seek medical care or for other humanitarian reasons, individually, in civilian clothing and unarmed.
However, ONUSAL shall not grant permission for any movement, even in the above cases, if it believes that such movement could jeopardize the cease-fire or other aspects of this Agreement or disturb the process of détente and reconciliation. Forces that leave their locations for the purposes listed in paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d) shall be accompanied by ONUSAL, which shall verify that such movements are in keeping with this Agreement.

22. Similarly, during the CAC period ONUSAL liaison officers shall be posted in the listed locations where FMLN forces are to be concentrated in order to coordinate movements by those forces. FMLN agrees that its forces may leave the locations in question only with the consent of ONUSAL and for the following purposes:

a. To carry out liaison and coordination activities between its high command and the commands of the forces stationed at the various locations indicated;

b. To supply provisions, clothing or vital necessities;

c. To take part in programmes for the deactivation, removal and destruction of mines;

d. To go on leave or seek medical care or for other humanitarian reasons, individually, in civilian clothing and unarmed.
However, ONUSAL shall not grant permission for any movement, even in the above cases, if it believes that such movement could jeopardize the cease-fire or other aspects of this Agreement or disturb the process of détente and reconciliation. Forces that leave their locations for the purposes listed in paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) shall be accompanied by ONUSAL, which shall verify that such movements are in keeping with this Agreement.

24. During the cease-fire, COPAZ shall systematically evaluate the progress being made in implementing the Agreements. If it notes that a situation is developing which might result in a crisis, it shall draw such conclusions and make such recommendations as may be necessary to prevent a collapse of the cease-fire or a crisis of public order. It shall transmit its conclusions and recommendations to the Chief of ONUSAL.

Implementation History

1992

Full Implementation

The cease-fire between the Government of El Salvador and the FMLN formally began on 1 February 1992, in keeping with the timeline established by the Peace Agreement. ONUSAL verified that the cease-fire agreement was upheld throughout the year and no major incidences occurred. Only one close call was reported, in which tensions over lands in former zones of conflict led the Government to deploy a police contingent consisting of recently demobilized troops from the FAES in late October 1992. ONUSAL and the Archbishop of San Salvador intervened before the incident escalated.123

  • 1. “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador,” United Nations Security Council (S/23999), May 26, 1992.
  • 2. “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador,” United Nations Security Council (S/24833), November 23, 1992.
  • 3. “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador (ONUSAL),” United Nations Security Council (S/25006), December 23, 1992.
1993

Full Implementation

The discovery of secret caches of FMLN weapons in Nicaragua in February 1993 raised tensions significantly, but did not lead to renewed armed conflict. The most serious threat to the cease fire agreement came from the resurgence of “death squads” in the latter portion of 1993. Several politically motivated illegal armed groups, some fashioned after groups active during the civil war, emerged. They carried out brazen acts of violence, including assassinations of former FMLN combatants, and threatened more. Fortunately, both parties to the Peace Agreement, in cooperation with the ONUSAL and the office of the UN Secretary-General, decisively condemned the actions of the death squads and took proactive measures to reign them in.4

  • 4. “Ninth report of the Director of the Human Rights Division of the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador (ONUSAL),” United Nations General Assembly, Security Council (A/49/59, S/1994/47), January 18, 1994.
1994

Full Implementation

The cease fire was upheld with no major incidents threatening a return to armed conflict.

1995

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

1996

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

1997

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

1998

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

1999

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2000

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.

2001

Full Implementation

No further developments observed.