Central American dissent on Iraq war

On June 20 legislative deputies of El Salvador’s leftist Farabundo Marti Front for National Liberation (FMLN) called on the Legislative Assembly to repeal the decree that authorizes sending troops to support the US occupation of Iraq. El Salvador has deployed 380-member contingents to Iraq for six months at a time since March 2003; it is the only Central American country that continues to maintain troops in Iraq. FMLN deputy Carlos Castaneda said the petition for the repeal was submitted after it became known that a new contingent of Salvadoran soldiers could be sent to Iraq. (La Prensa Grafica, San Salvador, June 21; AFP, June 21)

US ambassador to Costa Rica Mark Langdale said on June 19 that it was not possible to remove the country’s name from lists that US government websites maintain showing the “coalition of the willing,” the 49 countries that backed the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Costa Rica asked to be removed in September 2004, after its Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution barred the government from backing a war not sanctioned by the United Nations. “Although [the lists] aren’t correct anymore, they form part of the historic record and can’t be modified or removed,” Langdale said. “We regret any confusion these archives have caused.” (Boston Globe, June 22 from AP)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, July 25

Note that the moves come just as Japan has announced it is withdrawing its troops from Iraq.

Also note that US firms have long been recuirting mercenaries from Central America for the Iraq war.

See our last posts on Iraq and Central America.