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News > El Salvador

Son of Death Squad Leader Elected to Salvadoran Municipality

  • Roberto d'Aubuisson Jr. celebrates alongside members of the right-wing ARENA party, March 2, 2015.

    Roberto d'Aubuisson Jr. celebrates alongside members of the right-wing ARENA party, March 2, 2015. | Photo: Facebook

Published 4 March 2015

Salvadoran death squad leader Roberto d'Aubuisson was trained at the infamous School of the Americas.

The son Roberto d'Aubuisson, the infamous leader of right-wing death squads that terrorized the country in the 1980s, declared himself the winner in the race for mayor of Santa Tecla, a neighboring municipality of the capital of San Salvador.

Though official results have not been confirmed, this would mark the first time since 1997 that the municipality has not been governed by the left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front party. El Salvador Vice President Oscar Ortiz was the mayor of Santa Tecla for nearly 15 years before taking his current position.

Roberto d'Aubuisson Jr., declared himself the winner Monday, despite technical problems that are preventing the Supreme Electoral Tribunal from announcing official results. However his rival, Armando Flores of the FMLN, recognized d'Aubuisson's victory.

“I congratulate Roberto d'Aubuisson for having been elected mayor and I make myself available to work hand in hand so that Santa Tecla continues advancing along the path of development,” said Flores via his Twitter account.

Despite the right-wing victory in Santa Tecla, the FMLN won the majority of municipalities, including San Salvador.

The younger d'Aubuisson is a leading figure in the right-wing Republican Nationalist Alliance, or ARENA party, which was founded by his father. The elder d'Aubuisson, who was known as ‘blow-torch Bob’ by U.S. officials, was a major in the Salvadorean army and was accused of numerous human right violations, including masterminding the assassination of Bishop Oscar Romero.

Pope Francis recently declared Romero a martyr, which paves the way for his possible sainthood.

Eduardo, one of d'Aubuisson's other sons, was murdered alongside two other ARENA politicians in Guatemala in 2007, allegedly due to their ties to drug trafficking. The crime remains unsolved.

Despite his negative reputation, d'Aubuisson is a venerated figure within the ARENA party.

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