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El Salvador


El Salvador's infrastructure was the primary target of guerrilla sabotage in the mid- to late 1980s. Insurgent forces of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (Frente Farabundo Marti de Liberacion Nacional--FMLN) regularly damaged or disrupted the country's transportation, communications, and energy systems to erode the government's popularity. The front hoped to emphasize the government's inability to move the nation's economy, to increase the economic strain on the country, and to create the "objective conditions" necessary for a successful antigovernment insurrection. Guerrillas attacked a wide variety of economic targets, from trucks and buses to bridges, roads, and power plants, but they were not responsible for all the damage to the infrastructure in the 1980s. A 1982 flood washed out numerous roads and bridges, and in October 1986 an earthquake severely damaged many water and power plants and communications facilities, causing an estimated US$1 billion in damage.

Data as of November 1988