Alfredo Cristiani bigraphy, stories - President of El Salvador

Alfredo Cristiani : biography

22 November 1947 -

Alfredo Félix Cristiani Burkard, popularly known as Alfredo Cristiani (born ) was President of El Salvador from 1989 to 1994.


In 2008, two human rights organizations, The Center for Justice and Accountability and The Spanish Association for Human Rights, filed lawsuit in a Spanish court, against the former Salvadoran president Alfredo Cristiani and 14 members of the Salvadoran Military, for the direct responsibility of the massacre of the murdered scholars of UCA. Judge Eloy Velasco admitted this lawsuit in 2009, on the basis of the principle of universal justice.

According to former rector José María Tojeria, the Jesuits and Universidad Centroamericana "José Simeón Cañas", had nothing to do with this lawsuit.

During the course of this judicial process, recognized Salvadoran personalities travelled to Spain to intercede for president Cristiani, and remove him from the list of the accused. One of the members of these delegations was Salvador Samayoa, former member of FPL (the Marxist-Leninist Popular Liberation Front) and FMLNs high command. Another one of the members of the delegation was the Salvadoran politician Oscar Santamaría. Both of these personalities were part of the negotiating commissions of the FMLN and the Salvadoran government, which put an end to the Salvadoran Civil War. According to a cable from the US Embassy in El Salvador, both politicians were worried about the implications that this case could have in El Salvador. However, their efforts focused on president Cristiani's situation and. Salvador Samayoa was once Ignacio Ellacuría's assistant and close collaborator. Ellacuría was one of the slain scholars during this massacre, in which president Cristiani was implicated. Ellacuria was allegedly also the main target of the operation. Despite these efforts, an unknown witness in the case confessed about his participation in this massacre, implicating the High Command of the Salvadoran Military, as well as former president Alfredo Cristiani. Judge Velasco's resolution on the demand, initially included investigations on the 14 implicated members of the Salvadoran Military, excluding the former Salvadoran president, but including the Military High Command, represented by General (Colonel, at that time) René Emilio Ponce (who then was chief of defence of El Salvador). However, this new testimony opened up for the indictment of former president Cristiani as well. Some of the most compelling evidence that has been available for journalists, consists of notes taken by hand, during a meeting of the Salvadoran Military's High Command. The massacre was allegedly planned during this meeting, and both the military's High Command and the country's Executive, were probably aware, if not directly involved, in these planning meetings. Declassified documents by the CIA have recently shed new light on this case. These documents indicate that the CIA had for many years had knowledge of the Salvadoran government's plans to murder the Jesuits. The court found 20 members of the Salvadoran military guilty on the counts of murder, terrorism and crimes against humanity. Together, these 20 Salvadorans could serve up to 270 years in a Spanish prison. However, the court did not have enough evidence to convict president Cristiani for encouraging the crime. The court established that the military executed the Jesuits, because they were strong advocates of a peaceful solution to the civil war. Ignacio Ellacuria was considered an obstacle to military victory over FMLN, because of his strong influence in favor of peace negotiations.

Life and career

Born into a wealthy family in San Salvador, he was educated at the 'Escuela Americana' (American School) in San Salvador and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he graduated with a degree in Business Administration. He returned to El Salvador to work for the family business, which included pharmaceuticals, coffee, cotton and until July 2008 the Semillas Cristiani Burkard (SCB) the Central American Monsanto Company representative, leading corn seed company focused on hybrid corn production.reuters 2 Jul 2008

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine