Central America | Chronology

A photo of Enrique Alvarez, taken in 1980 when he was visiting the United States to promote the cause of the Frente Democrático Revolucionario.

NOTE: I have written a biography of Enrique Alvarez which will be published during 2005 (McFarland). I would be delighted to receive mail (including email, phone: 603 646-2866, or fax: 603 646-1312) from anyone who can contribute facts or ideas to this project, or who simply would like to discuss it.

Enrique Alvarez Córdova

From Despierta Mi Bien Despierta

by Claribel Alegría
(UCA, 1986, page 32)

" ... Todos los oligarcas aquí están cortados por la misma tijera. Lo único que les preocupa es hacer más dinero, no importa a costa de qué. ¿Quién en El Salvador es distinto? Quique Alvarez y pare usted de contar. Qué odio le tienen al pobre Quique. Un traidor a su clase. No les queda más remedio que tomarlo en cuenta. Es uno do los suyos y no un resentido cualquiera."


March 4, 1930: EAC born in San Salvador, from a "liberal strain" of the family.

Jan., 1932: Rebellion and La Matanza. (See book by Thomas Anderson.)

1936-1944: EAC is student at Externado San José, the Jesuit day school in San Salvador.

1944-1948: Hackley Preparatory School, Tarrytown, NY. Popular with schoolmates; played (US) football, basketball and tennis. Set one-season school scoring record for basketball; two year captain of tennis.

Sept. 1948-1950: Rutgers University, class of 1952. Studied agriculture and economics; was there two years; didn't graduate. During these years his home address was Ave. España 40, San Salvador.

1950s, back in El Salvador: Member of national basketball team, 2nd ranked tennis player, horse polo player, water skier, great dancer. For some time dated Maribel Arrieta, who in 1955 was runnerup in international contest "Miss Universe." Coached basketball at Externado San José.

1953: With his father purchased El Jobo, then a sugar plantation, and begin conversion into dairy and cattle.

1961: Non-playing "trainer" with national basketball team.

1965: Head of "government-controlled" coffee company

1968, 69 (dates??) President of Cattlemens' Association

1968: Deputy Minister of Agriculture; resigned "in a few months"

May, 1969: Returned as Minister of Agriculture in administration of Pres. Sanchez Hernández. Planned, and attempted to implement, agrarian reform measures. Known as supporter of Unión Comunal Salvadoreña (UCS), described as a campesino cooperative association. Supported interests of campesinos and small farmers.

1971: Joined PCN (the political party of the military establishment) while acting as minister IN PCN government, and served as Secretary of Agrarian Affairs and Community Development on its national directorate. [Date?]

Feb. 1972: Gen. Molina elected president, defeating Duarte and Ungo in questionable election. Duarte exiled.

July, 1972: Gen. Molina becomes president of El Salvador; EAC reappointed as Agriculture Minister.

Oct. 12, 1973: EAC resigns as Minister of Agriculture, along with Salvador Sanchez Aguillon (economy). The reason was that Molina reneged on promise to pass agrarian reform measures. Enrique's vice minister, Lino Osegueda, resigns a few months later after "cleaning up" the office.

1974 (?): Enrique moves to his new house at El Jobo, just outside Sonsonate.

1975: President Molina attempts to pass parts of agrarian reform, but fails.

Dec. 27, 1976: Enrique begins turning ranch El Jobo into a worker-owned coop.

Feb. 20, 1977: Fraudulent election of Gen. Romero as president.

Feb. 22, 1977: Mons. Oscar Arnulfo Romero becomes archbishop of San Salvador with blessing of oligarchy, who didn't know what he would become.

March 12, 1977: Fr. Rutilio Grande assassinated; persecution of church increases drastically.

May 11, 1977: Fr. Alfonso Navarro assassinated. Threats issued against all Jesuits around this time, but not carried out. Also in May, Policía Nacional killed many (officially 22) people on steps of cathedral after a peaceful demo.

July 1, 1977: Gen. Romero assumes presidency; Mons. Romero refuses to attend inauguration.

1978 (?): Enrique visits Cuba, is impressed by social and agricultural progress.

1979 (date?): El Jobo is legally established as a cooperative.

July 19, 1979: Triumph of the Nicaraguan revolution.

Oct. 15, 1979: Coup overthrows Gen. Romero, creates Junta and new Cabinet. EAC declines to join Junta, but instead becomes Minister of Agriculture once more; accepts at urging of Mons. Romero and leaders of campesino organizations.

Oct. 26: Sends letter to employees of the Ministry.

Dec. 11, 1979: Gives Radio/TV address explaining and promoting the proposed agrarian reform of the 1st Junta.

Dec. 28, 1979: EAC resigns from cabinet of 1st Junta; witnin a few days all the civilians in the Junta and cabinet have left in protest at military control of government.

Jan. 1980: EAC joins in forming the Coordinadora Revolucionaria de Masas. Also, in this month MIPTES is formed.

Feb. 1980 (late): Mario Zamora murdered.

March 3, 1980: Hector Dada resigns from the 2nd Junta.

March 9, 1980: 2nd Junta announces "sweeping reforms," including land reform. State of siege declared and army occupies many large farms. Many campesino leaders are shot. Coffee estates are mostly untouched by the reform.

March 24, 1980: Archbishop Romero murdered.

March 31: Frente Democrático Revolucionario (FDR) is formed, including MIPTES.

April 18, 1980: FDR announces itself with "un acto" in the auditorium of the UES (national university). Enrique Alvarez is chosen as President.

April 22, 1980: EAC kidnapped on highway 28 miles E of San Salv. Turns out to be an arrest on dubious "arms" charges; he's released the same day.

May 14, 1980: Massacre of hundreds of campesinos at Sumpul river.

May 26, 1980: EAC and other FDR leaders began foreign tour in Mexico, then on to Costa Rica, Panama, Europe, United States ...

June 3: In San José, CR. Group "headed for Panama and Europe."

June (?), 1980: FDR endorsed by Socialist International, which urges change in US policy of support for Junta.

June (late?), 1980: General strike organized by FDR.

July 22, 1980: EAC and other FDR leaders in Washington, D.C. protest support by Venezuela for the Junta government in San Salvador. FDR delegation includes Ruben Zamora, G. Ungo, Juan Chacón, Mauricio Silva. Plan meetings with Congress, diplomats, but not with State Dept. [However, the FDR delegates did have a 2-hour, off the record meeting with top State officials.]

August 8, 1980: State dept. rejects plea that US stay neutral in Salvadoran struggle.

Oct. 6,1980: EAC and others of FDR return to El Salvador. (Date from Gilly, Uno Más Uno, Dec 10, 1980.)

Oct. 28, 1980: Felix Ulloa, rector of UES, is murdered. EAC and other FDR leaders appeared publically in the cathedral to pay respects.

Nov. 6, 1980: Ronald Reagan elected president of USA; Salvadoran right celebrates.

Nov. 16, 1980 FDR announces it is ready to talk with any democratic forces or persons who can help "stop the genocide against the Salvadoran people." But this doesn't include the Junta, since it has "responded to humanitarian petitions with massacres and murder." (That week's sermon by Bishop Rivera y Damas mentions 11 campesinos found killed near San Vicente plus another 10 in San José de Las Flores.)

Nov 27, 1980: EAC kidnapped, along with 5 other FDR leaders, at the Externado San José in San Salvador. Some of the bodies are dumped that evening, but that of Alvarez, mutilated and with 12 bullet wounds, is found the next day.

Nov. 29: FDR presents new leadership at clandestine press conference. Eduardo Calles, 40, argicultural engineer, said to replace EAC.

Nov. 30: An "incendiary bomb" explodes, destroying the main entrance of the National Cathedral where the FDR bodies are awaiting burial.

Dec. 2, 1980: Four U.S. churchwomen murdered by National Guard troops, apparently at the orders of Lt. Col. Edgardo Casanova (cousin of Vides Casanova). Entire government and Armed Forces participate in coverup.

Dec. 3, 1980: EAC and four other FDR leaders, plus one "young follower," buried in San Salvador cathedral crypts. (Enrique's body is still there; the others have been moved.)

Jan. 1981: FMLN launches "final offensive" which fails. Carter restores U.S. military aid, suspended after murder of nuns. Reagan assumes US presidency. Ten years of bloody civil war are now inevitable.


Last Updated: Friday, September 7, 2007 10:47 AM