Demobilization: Chapultepec Peace Agreement

CHAPULTEPEC AGREEMENT (16 January 1992)

Chapter VII: Cessation of the Armed Conflict

Separation of forces

9. The purpose of the separation of forces is to reduce the risk of incidents, to build trust and to allow ONUSAL to verify both parties' compliance with this Agreement.

10. The separation of forces shall take place in two stages, so that the Salvadorian armed forces (FAES) fall back progressively from their present positions until deployed as they would normally be in peacetime and the FMLN forces are concentrated progressively in designated locations within conflict areas as determined in annex D.

11. During the first stage, which shall coincide with the five days following D-Day, FAES land forces shall go to the barracks, bases, existing semi-permanent facilities and other locations listed in annex A and FMLN forces, except for the combatants mentioned in paragraph 18, shall go to the places listed in annex B. The places listed in annexes A and B generally reflect the present deployment of the two parties' forces.

12. The movements described in the preceding paragraph shall be made under the supervision of ONUSAL. Neither party shall do anything to prevent or jeopardize the movement of the other party's forces during this period. ONUSAL military observers shall closely supervise all the places listed in annexes A and B and shall in principle be present 24 hours a day in each of those places as of D-
Day.

13. During the period between D-Day + 6 days and D-Day + 30 days, FAES land forces shall fall back to their peacetime positions as listed in annex C and FMLN forces, except for the combatants mentioned in paragraph 18, shall fall back to the locations indicated in annex D. The precise designation of such locations shall be determined by the ONUSAL Chief Military Observer, in consultation with the two parties, during the informal cease-fire period.

14. The movements described in the preceding paragraph, which shall also be supervised by ONUSAL, shall be carried out according to phased programmes agreed between the ONUSAL Chief Military Observer and the two parties during the informal cease-fire period, through the joint working group to which reference is made in paragraph 32. During this task, the group shall be guided as appropriate by the agreed timetable for the implementation of the agreements reached.

15. As soon as possible after the signing of this Agreement but no later than two weeks before D-Day, the FAES shall transmit to the ONUSAL Chief Military Observer detailed information on the number of their troops and weapons to be concentrated in the places listed in annex A.

16. As soon as possible after the signing of this Agreement but no later than two weeks before D-Day, FMLN shall supply the ONUSAL Chief Military Observer with detailed information on its troop strength and inventories of arms, ammunition, mines, other explosives and military equipment located anywhere within the national territory. These arms, etc. shall be concentrated in the places listed in annex B, with the exception of those of its clandestine forces, which shall be concentrated in the places listed in annex D during the second stage of the separation of forces.

17. Upon completion of the first stage of the separation of forces, that is, as of D-Day + 6, ONUSAL shall verify that all troops and military equipment declared by the parties, other than the arms, etc. referred to in the last sentence of the preceding paragraph, have been concentrated in the locations listed in annexes A and B. ONUSAL shall investigate any report or allegation of the presence of troops or military equipment in any place other than those locations, apart from the movements authorized in paragraphs 20-22.

18. The arrangements just described relate to FAES land forces and FMLN forces as defined in paragraph 11. Although it is not possible, for practical reasons, to arrange a similar separation of clandestine forces, the latter shall remain fully subject to the undertaking to refrain from carrying out any hostile act or operation. As provided in paragraph 6, any alleged violation of this undertaking shall be investigated by ONUSAL.

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.

20. During the CAC period, ONUSAL liaison officers shall be posted in FAES units, bases and barracks to coordinate in advance the movements of FAES forces throughout the national territory and to verify that such movements will neither violate the cease-fire nor jeopardize in any other way the process of implementing this Agreement.

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.

23. ONUSAL shall verify that the supplies delivered to each party do not include lethal articles. However, the FAES shall be allowed to maintain stocks of ammunition normal for peacetime. The mechanisms for such verification shall be established by the ONUSAL Chief Military Observer in consultation with the two parties.

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.

25. Should a public order crisis occur despite the above provisions and if the normal means for the maintenance of domestic peace and public security have been exhausted, with the result that the President of the Republic deems it necessary to make use of the exceptional measures provided for in the amendment to article 168 (12) of the Constitution adopted in April 1991, the President shall, before giving the relevant order, inform the Chief of ONUSAL to enable him to make any appropriate remarks. The actions of the FAES under such circumstances shall be monitored closely by ONUSAL to ensure that they are consistent with all the peace Agreements.

Chapter IX: Implementation Timetable

2.7 Rapid deployment infantry battalions (BIRI)
The following statement is made with regard to the rapid deployment infantry battalions in the relevant part of the timetable for implementing the reduction plan mentioned in paragraph 2.4 of this chapter:
"The demobilization of the BIRIs shall begin in the third week of the sixth month and shall last four weeks. Once the demobilization has begun, the battalions shall be considered to have lost their offensive battle capability.
"The BIRIs shall be demobilized as detailed below:
6th month: General Ramón Belloso BIRI
7th month: Atonal BIRI
8th month: Atlacatl BIRI
9th month: General Eusebio Bracamonte BIRI
10th month: General José Manuel Arce BIRI."

Implementation History

1992

Intermediate Implementation

The Armed Forces of El Salvador (FAES) carried out the disbandment of civil defense units in April and May 1992, but failed to meet the established deadlines to withdraw all its troops to the agreed-upon locations, citing logistical issues. ONUSAL successfully pressured them to fulfill their agreements (with one exception). Although they were nominally integrated into the FAES on schedule, the Treasury Police and National Guard failed to abandon their barracks by the established deadline. In response, the FMLN, which had been demobilizing on schedule, refused to complete the concentration of its forces to the agreed-upon locations until the FAES upheld the agreement.1 The Parties subsequently reached a negotiated agreement to concentrate forces in the established areas by 25 June 1992, and to present legislation to definitively abolish the National Guard and Treasury Police and establish a “Special Brigade for Military Security” (with no further transfers from military bodies to the National Civil Police) by 30 June 1992.2 The FAES indeed completed its concentration of forces on 26 June 1992, and it disbanded the Territorial Service by 30 July 1992. The FMLN also completed the concentration of combatants according to the agreement by 26 June 1992. Some small groups of armed and uniformed persons in support of “public security committees” remained outside the concentration sites, but with pressure from ONUSAL, these groups also complied with the concentration agreements by 30 August 1992. The second 20% of FMLN ex-combatants were demobilized on 24 September 1992.3 The FNML had 15,009 organized memberships of which 8,552 were combatants (2,485 or 29.06 % female combatants, 2,474 were wounded non-combatants and 3,983 were political personnel.4

However, persisting delays in land transfers led the FMLN to suspend demobilization on 30 September 1992, promising not to resume until new dates were set for starting land transfers.5 The FAES had been progressing on the reduction of forces plan until late October 1992, when it suspended its demobilization in reaction to the FMLN’s suspension.6 With 31 October 1992, the original deadline to formally end the armed conflict, fast approaching, the office of the Secretary-General intervened and convinced the parties to set 15 December 1992 as the new date by which the FMLN would be fully demobilized and reintegrated and the FAES would be fully demobilized, reduced and purified, thus constituting the formal end of the armed conflict.7 The FMLN demobilized the third quintile of ex-combatants by 31 October 1992.8 As of 17 December 1992, a total of 8,876 FMLN combatants and 3,486 war handicapped and injured FMLN members were demobilized. On 23 December 1992, ONUSAL confirmed that the demobilization process reached its conclusion and the armed conflict between the Government of El Salvador and the FMLN formally ended on 15 December 1992.9

  • 1. “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador,” United Nations Security Council (S/23999), May 26, 1992; “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador,” United Nations Security Council (S/24833), November 23, 1992.
  • 2. “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador,” United Nations Security Council (S/23999/Add.1), June 16, 1992.
  • 3. United Nations Security Council, (S/24833).
  • 4. Ilja A Luciak, After the Revolution: Gender and Democracy in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala, (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), 4.
  • 5. “Letter Dated 19 October 1992 from the Secretary-General Addressed to the President of the Security Council,” United Nations Security Council (S/24699), October 19, 1992.
  • 6. United Nations Security Council, (S/24833).
  • 7. “Letter Dated 11 November 1992 from the Secretary-General Addressed to the President of the Security Council,” United Nations Security Council (S/24805), November 13, 1992.
  • 8. United Nations Security Council, (S/24833).
  • 9. “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 FAES accelerated the process of reduction of its forces, completing the demobilization of its rapid reaction infantry battalions on 6 February 1993 and completing the overall process of reduction of forces on 31 March 1993—nine months ahead of schedule and in higher proportions than originally planned.10 The official date of final demobilization was recognized as 31 December 1993.11

  • 10. “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador,” United Nations Security Council (S/25812), May 21, 1993.
  • 11. “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador,” United Nations Security Council (S/1994/561), May 11, 1994.
1994

Full Implementation

Compensation of demobilized members of the FAES, which began on 15 December 1993, proceeded quickly in early 1994, and it was agreed on 28 January 1994 that the indemnities should be fully distributed by 30 June 1994.12

  • 12. “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Observer Mission in El Salvador,” United Nations Security Council (S/1994/561), May 11, 1994.
1995

Full Implementation

Demobilization of FMLN combatants as well as El Salvadorian Armed force completed before election in 1994. The FMLN transformed itself into a legitimate party be complying to the demobilization provisos of the accord and the FAES remained loyal to the civilians. Its strength was reduced almost in half by demobilizing its personnel. The estimated strength of the FAES was 22,000 in 1995, which was 38,000 less than its strength in 1991.13

  • 13. Bennett, D. Scott, and Allan Stam, “EUGene: A Conceptual Manual.” International Interactions (2000), 26:179-204.
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.