Funes Cartagena, Carlos Mauricio (El Salvador)

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Mauricio Funes took office in June 2009 at the head of the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) administration, ending 20 years of Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA) government.

Early Life

Funes was born on 18 Oct. 1959 in San Salvador. Schooled at the Colegio Centroamérica and the private Colegio Externado San José, he went in 1975 to study literature at the city’s José Simón Cañas University.

In 1980 civil war broke out between the authoritarian government and leftist organizations, from which the FMLN was created. Mauricio’s older brother was killed by police during a student demonstration. In 1986 Mauricio became a reporter for state television news. In 1997 he became head of news at Canal 12. However, after several run-ins—notably over criticism of the government after a 2001 earthquake—he left the station in 2005.

His public popularity paved the way for a move into politics, where he established a relationship with the FMLN. In Sept. 2007...

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