Armando Calderón Sol, Who Led El Salvador After War, Dies at 69

Arena was founded in 1981 by Roberto d’Aubuisson, whose calls for the extermination of Communists by death squads were embraced by the country’s oligarchy and far right.


Armando Calderon Sol in April 1994 with his wife, Elizabeth Aguirre de Calderon Sol, and his sons Luis, rear, and Marco in a San Salvador hotel room after learning he had soundly defeated a leftist coalition candidate, Ruben Zamora.

Luis Romer/Associated Press

But Mr. D’Aubuisson’s presidential ambitions were blocked by United States officials, who feared that his reputation for violence would jeopardize support of the government by Congress. During the 1980s, Congress would allocate some $4 billion to defeat the rebels.

In 1992, after seeking to undercut the leftist guerrillas’ appeal by granting limited democratic reforms, the rightist Salvadoran government agreed to a comprehensive peace treaty, ending the revolt that had transformed this tiny Central American nation into a war-torn surrogate for the Cold War between the East and West.

Under the treaty, the government promised to purge the army of abusive officers, create a civilian national police force, grant political freedom to guerrillas who disarmed, and apportion land to peasants where rebels remained in control.

Mr. Calderón Sol was born on June 24, 1948, in San Salvador. He graduated with a degree in jurisprudence and social sciences from the Universidad Nacional de El Salvador.

He was married to Elizabeth Aguirre de Calderón, with whom he had at least two sons. Complete information on survivors was not available.

He served as a representative in the Legislative Assembly from 1985 to 1988, when he was elected mayor of San Salvador on a good-government and anticorruption platform. He was the first mayor of the nation’s capital in 24 years to come from a political party other than the…

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