Geographic and Governmental Profile of El Salvador

Background
El Salvador achieved independence from Spain in 1821 and from the Central American Federation in 1839. A 12-year civil war, which cost about 75,000 lives, was brought to a close in 1992 when the government and leftist rebels signed a treaty that provided for military and political reforms.
Location
Central America, bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and Honduras
Geographic coordinates
13 50 N, 88 55 W
Continent / Subcontinent
Central America and the Caribbean
Area
total:
21,041 sq km
rank:
153
land:
20,721 sq km
water:
320 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than Massachusetts
Land boundaries
total:
545 km
border countries:
Guatemala 203 km, Honduras 342 km
Coastline
307 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
contiguous zone:
24 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
Climate
tropical; rainy season (May to October); dry season (November to April); tropical on coast; temperate in uplands
Terrain
mostly mountains with narrow coastal belt and central plateau
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point:
Cerro El Pital 2,730 m
Natural resources
hydropower, geothermal power, petroleum, arable land
Land use
arable land:
31.37%
permanent crops:
11.88%
other:
56.75% (2005)
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Irrigated land
450 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
25.2 cu km (2001)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
1.28 cu km/yr (25%/16%/59%)
per capita:
186 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
known as the Land of Volcanoes; frequent and sometimes destructive earthquakes and volcanic activity; extremely susceptible to hurricanes
volcanism:
significant volcanic activity; San Salvador (elev. 1,893 m), which last erupted in 1917, has the potential to cause major harm to the country's capital, which lies just below the volcano's slopes; San Miguel (elev. 2,130 m), which last erupted in 2002, is one of the most active volcanoes in the country; other historically active volcanoes include Conchaguita, Ilopango, Izalco, and Santa Ana
Environment - current issues
deforestation; soil erosion; water pollution; contamination of soils from disposal of toxic wastes
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
Law of the Sea
Geography - note
smallest Central American country and only one without a coastline on Caribbean Sea
Country name
conventional long form:
Republic of El Salvador
conventional short form:
El Salvador
local long form:
Republica de El Salvador
local short form:
El Salvador
Government type
republic
Capital
name:
San Salvador
geographic coordinates:
13 42 N, 89 12 W
time difference:
UTC-6 (1 hour behind Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time:
all year for 2012
Administrative divisions
14 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Ahuachapan, Cabanas, Chalatenango, Cuscatlan, La Libertad, La Paz, La Union, Morazan, San Miguel, San Salvador, San Vicente, Santa Ana, Sonsonate, Usulutan
Independence
15 September 1821 (from Spain)
Constitution
20 December 1983
Legal system
civil law system with minor common law influence; judicial review of legislative acts in the Supreme Court
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Carlos Mauricio FUNES Cartagena (since 1 June 2009); Vice President Salvador SANCHEZ CEREN (since 1 June 2009); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government:
President Carlos Mauricio FUNES Cartagena (since 1 June 2009); Vice President Salvador SANCHEZ CEREN (since 1 June 2009)
cabinet:
Council of Ministers selected by the president
elections:
president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a single five-year term; election last held on 15 March 2009 (next to be held in March 2014)
election results:
Mauricio FUNES Cartagena elected president; percent of vote - Mauricio FUNES Cartagena 51.3%, Rodrigo AVILA 48.7%
Legislative branch
unicameral Legislative Assembly or Asamblea Legislativa (84 seats; members elected by direct, popular vote to serve three-year terms)
elections:
last held on 11 March 2012 (next to be held in 2015)
election results:
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - ARENA 33, FMLN 31, GANA 11, CN 7, PES 1, PCD 1
Judicial branch
Supreme Court or Corte Suprema (15 judges are selected by the Legislative Assembly; the 15 judges are assigned to four Supreme Court chambers - constitutional, civil, penal, and administrative conflict)
Political parties and leaders
Democratic Change (Cambio Democratico) or PCD; Democratic Convergence or CD [Oscar KATTAN] (formerly United Democratic Center or CDU); Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front or FMLN [Medardo GONZALEZ]; Great Alliance for National Unity or GANA [Andres ROVIRA]; National Conciliation or CN [Ciro CRUZ ZEPEDA] (formerly the National Conciliation Party or PCN); Nationalist Republican Alliance or ARENA [Alfredo CRISTIANI]; Party of Hope or PES [Rodolfo PARKER] (formerly the Christian Democratic Party or PDC)
Political pressure groups and leaders
labor organizations - Electrical Industry Union of El Salvador or SIES; Federation of the Construction Industry, Similar Transport and other activities, or FESINCONTRANS; National Confederation of Salvadoran Workers or CNTS; National Union of Salvadoran Workers or UNTS; Port Industry Union of El Salvador or SIPES; Salvadoran Union of Ex-Petrolleros and Peasant Workers or USEPOC; Salvadoran Workers Central or CTS; Workers Union of Electrical Corporation or STCEL; business organizations - National Association of Small Enterprise or ANEP; Salvadoran Assembly Industry Association or ASIC; Salvadoran Industrial Association or ASI
International organization participation
BCIE, CACM, CD, CELAC, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, SICA, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Francisco Robert ALTSCHUL Fuentes
chancery:
Suite 100, 1400 16th Street, Washington, DC 20036
telephone:
[1] (202) 265-9671
FAX:
[1] (202) 234-3763
consulate(s) general:
Brentwood (New York), Boston, Chicago, Coral Gables (Florida), Dallas, Duluth (Georgia), Elizabeth (New Jersey), Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Nogales (Arizona), Santa Ana (California), San Francisco, Woodbridge (Virginia)
consulate(s):
Boston, Elizabeth (New Jersey)
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Sean MURPHY
embassy:
Final Boulevard Santa Elena Sur, Antiguo Cuscatlan, La Libertad, San Salvador
mailing address:
Unit 3450, APO AA 34023; 3450 San Salvador Place, Washington, DC 20521-3450
telephone:
[503] 2501-2999
FAX:
[503] 2501-2150
Flag description
three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), white, and blue with the national coat of arms centered in the white band; the coat of arms features a round emblem encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE EL SALVADOR EN LA AMERICA CENTRAL; the banner is based on the former blue-white-blue flag of the Federal Republic of Central America; the blue bands symbolize the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, while the white band represents the land between the two bodies of water, as well as peace and prosperity
similar to the flag of Nicaragua, which has a different coat of arms centered in the white band - it features a triangle encircled by the words REPUBLICA DE NICARAGUA on top and AMERICA CENTRAL on the bottom; also similar to the flag of Honduras, which has five blue stars arranged in an X pattern centered in the white band
National symbol(s)
turquoise-browed motmot (bird)
National anthem
name:
"Himno Nacional de El Salvador" (National Anthem of El Salvador)
lyrics/music:
Juan Jose CANAS/Juan ABERLE
officially adopted 1953, in use since 1879; the anthem of El Salvador is one of the world's longest
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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