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20 years

Former leftist rebel leader sworn in as El Salvador president


June 2nd, 2014 (VOA) A former leftist guerrilla commander who fought against U.S.-backed governments has been sworn in as El Salvador’s new president.

Salvador Sanchez Ceren promised to fight crime and cut wasteful government spending as he took the oath of office Sunday in San Salvador.

Sanchez Ceren, who is 69, was elected to a five-year term in March.

El Salvador is struggling with a slow economy and high crime, fueled by gang violence and drug trafficking.

Sanchez Ceren was a rebel commander of the FMLN, the leftist group that battled U.S.-backed governments during El Salvador’s 12-year-long civil war.

The fighting killed about 76,000 people before a 1992 peace agreement.

Sanchez Ceren and the FMLN have become more moderate since entering mainstream politics.

He has promised to maintain good relations with the United States, where hundreds of thousands of Salvadoran migrants live.

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