Colombia’s progress and challenges in the disarmament and reintegration of the FARC

By Johannes Langer, October 2017


After the peace agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC, the process of disarmament was successfully completed in summer of 2017. Major challenges regarding the reintegration process of former combatants are ahead that could reverse the successful implementation of the accords.

Successful demobilization


The UN Mission is in the process to establish the arms that were hidden across the country (Picture by MisionONU Colombia)

Disarming and reintegrating rebel groups is a key step towards overcoming civil war. After 52 years of armed conflict with the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and more than 200,000 dead, the Colombian government signed a peace agreement in November 2016 after four long years of negotiations. On over 300 pages in the accord, the ceasefire and Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) process is outlined in detail to allow for a more peaceful Colombia.

In January 2017, the disarmament process started and almost 7,000 former FARC fighters moved to 26 transitory zones across the country. While the deadline to complete the process within 180 days was not met, demobilized combatants handed in some 9,000 weapons and three quarters of arms caches have been cleared. Importantly, the process has been monitored by the UN Mission in Colombia to create trust on both sides. This civilian mission has not only the responsibility to verify the DDR process but also to control the bilateral ceasefire between the two sides that both sides adhered to with only a few minor instances.

In August 2017, the transitory zones where FARC fighters demobilized have been transformed to special zones for reintegration. The former combatants go through a reintegration process. Colombia already has a lot of experience with individual reintegration, thanks to very well administered programs by the Colombian Reintegration Agency (ACR). Its challenging work was hardly noticed by the public, yet ACR has been able to complete reintegration of more than 15,000 former combatants according to the government’s reintegration scheme since its creation in 2011 and has followed the UN guidelines with its holistic approach to reintegration (including for example socio-economic and psychological issues).

In June 2017, President Santos declared to remodel ACR into the Reincorporation and Normalization Agency (ARN), following the demand of the FARC to distinguish their DDR process from the one of right-wing paramilitary groups and to stress to FARC supporters that it is the FARC’s decision to reincorporate and be part of society without being militarily defeated.

Challenges ahead


Demobilized FARC fighters are working in an agricultural project in their transitory zone (Picture by MisionONU Colombia)

ARN will have a huge task ahead. In institutional terms, the new body has just become part of FARC’s DDR process and needs to establish its presence in the reintegration zones. With a very limited educational background, former FARC combatants have low prospects on the job market. Finding employment for them is not easy considering that the majority never attended school. Another major concern of FARC members is their own physical security and the security of their families, having in mind the massacres against FARC members and supporters in an attempt to take part in political life back in the second half of the 1980s. In terms of gender, many female ex-combatants are now bearing children (after a very strict policy of not being allowed to do so), there is even talk of a baby boom, that could either help to convince their partners to remain in civilian life or rather push them to illegality to make a living.

Finally, it is politics that the FARC is now also engaging in. Officially being transformed to a political party on 1 September 2017, it was the leftist wing under FARC leader Iván Márquez that won against the line of Timoshenko, leader of the pragmatic faction, to keep the initials ‘FARC’ that now stand for ‘Common Alternative Revolutionary Force’. Prospects for many votes in the 2018 parliamentarian elections appear to be limited to a few zones where the FARC has a certain popularity. Importantly for the former rebel group, the peace agreement promised them five seats in each of the two houses of parliament. Most FARC members seem to be in line with the leadership of engaging in democratic politics. However, some ex-combatants question the reintegration process, arguing that the Colombian state does not comply with the DDR process while they are being offered lots of money from illegal armed groups. There are already news reports claiming that several dozens of demobilized fighters left the transitory zones to join other illegal armed groups.

Another issue is that the civilian population continues to suffer under displacement, as well as intimidation and assassinations of social leaders as the Colombian NGO Indepaz pointed out in its recent report.

And then there is the question of funding: Colombia’s budget is tight due to the low oil price and U.S. President Trump has proposed to severely cut the financial support for the peace process. Several deadlines of the process have not been met, promises to demobilized FARC fighters have not been kept regarding the conditions in the transitory zones and many Colombians remain suspicious of the process.


The disarmament and demobilization process took place without major incidents and that is a success in itself. However, the road to reintegration during the next years will be difficult and the presidential elections in 2018 could undermine the reintegration process if an adversary of the peace process is elected. Also, if the peace negotiation with the second biggest guerrilla group ELN succeed and other illegal armed groups will join as well, ARN will have an even more demanding task to fulfil.

Appreciating the Positive Moments of Researching Insecurity and Violence

 by Susan Hoppert-Flaemig, July 2016

Although being an academic requires spending an essential amount of time with desk work, the time spent ‘in the field’ is most important to advance in my thinking. Like other researchers, I tend to focus more on the problems rather than on the positive aspects of my topics. Dealing with issues of violence in Central America and the incapability of governments to contain violence, this can be become quite depressing. However, there are moments when I am reminded that the courage of a few people can make the difference, even if only one individual life is changed.

My first trip to Central America was in 1999. I was 18 years old and volunteered at the Casa del Niño, an orphanage in La Ceiba, Honduras. For one year I shared my life with a bunch of lovely wild boys. Many of these boys had experienced poverty, abandonment, abuse, and violence but they were also just children who wanted to laugh and play and live their lives. One of these children was Noe, he came to the Casa del Niño with his brother Carlos when he was about seven years old. He was one of the youngest of the group of about 25 boys, a sweet little kid, smart and playful, and I enjoyed spending time with him and Carlos. That year in La Ceiba opened my eyes about the enormous difficulties many people face every day who are affected by violence and poverty and who are neglected by the state.

I remained attached to the region. In recent years, Honduras gained the sad reputation of being the world’s most violent country.[1] La Ceiba is considered one of the ‘murder hotspots’.[2] In 2011 I came back to La Ceiba. Now a PhD researcher, I had just spent a few weeks of fieldwork in El Salvador. Before heading back to the UK, I wanted to visit some friends in Honduras. One of them was Tania who had been teaching at the Casa del Niño for many years and was now working as principal at an NGO called Niños de la Luz. Niños de la Luz was providing a home and education for children and young adults in a high risk neighbourhood. Tania was working with the same dedication, empathy and persistence I had observed at the Casa del Niño. I was shocked when she told me that most of the children I had met at Casa del Niño had died. At some point in their young lives they had become involved in the lethal business of Honduran street gangs of killings, drug addiction and extortion. It was depressing to think about the kids as young men who killed and were killed.

However, as Tania showed me around Niños de la Luz, we came across a young man whose face seemed somehow familiar. It was Noe, the little boy of the Casa del Niño! His way was exceptional. Not only had he managed to survive and stay healthy. He had also earned a degree in business administration and worked as the financial manager of the project. Seeing Noe alive, happy and thriving in his career was such a pleasure. It showed me that the brave work of all those committed to boys and young men at risk and trying to offer them an alternative to violence and crime is worth it. Researching issues of insecurity and violence is often about being confronted with people living in depressing and difficult situations. But it is worth highlighting and remembering the positive stories as they encourage us to keep engaging with the topic.

[1] According to the UNODC Global Study on Homicides, 90.4 homicides per 100,000 inhabitants were counted in 2012.


Defending your thesis in… the United Kingdom

Verena Brähler, one of our Researching Security Fellows, is sharing with us her experience of defending her PhD thesis in the United Kingdom.

September 2014

Thesis defence procedure in the United Kingdom

Contrary to most other countries in Europe, the PhD thesis defence in the United Kingdom is not a formality. The thesis defence in the UK is called viva voce (“with the living voice”). It is an oral examination with two examiners and may require a substantial amount of preparation. Usually you will have one internal examiner from your university and one external examiner. Unless you request otherwise, your supervisor(s) will not be present during the examination and neither will be any members of the public. That is quite nice actually because the examiners will focus on discussing the most important aspects of your thesis, rather than asking tough questions “to entertain the audience”. The examination can take between two and four hours and these are the most common outcomes:

  1. Pass: I personally do not know anyone who has passed the viva straight away but, theoretically speaking, it is possible.
  2. Pass with minor corrections: This is the most common outcome. You get 3 months to make minor amendments to your thesis, based on what was discussed during the viva.
  3. Major corrections: This seems to happen to very few people. It means that you get another 18 months to make substantial changes to your thesis.
  4. Fail: Theoretically speaking, there is a possibility that you can fail but I have never heard of anyone who did.


Given these different outcomes, it is smart to prepare for the viva. In my case, I submitted my thesis in March 2014 and had six weeks to prepare for the viva in the beginning of May. At the time, I was already working in Vienna and doing an internship with UNODC. I used the two weekends prior to my viva to read the whole thesis again (you wouldn’t believe how many typos I still found) and think about how I would answer the following questions:

  • What is original about your thesis? What sets your work apart from others?
  • What are the strongest/weakest parts of your work?
  • What were the crucial research decisions that you made? How did you resolve any issues which arose in the course of your research?
  • How did you tackle the ethical implications of your work?
  • Who is your audience?
  • What is the agreed methodology in your discipline?
  • Do you anticipate publishing the material? And, if so, what aspects?
  • What researchers would be interested in your work?
  • What are the theoretical underpinnings to your work?
  • Who would be most likely to agree/disagree with your findings?
  • How long do you expect your work to remain innovative? Do your contributions have a limited timescale?
  • Do you think that your recommendations are feasible?

One the day

My examination was in London. On the day, I felt pretty calm and well prepared. I always thought that I am a bit better in speaking than in writing, so I felt confident but not exactly über-enthusiastic. When I walked into the room, my two examiners welcomed me and started the viva by asking two ice-breaker questions:

  • How did you come to research this topic?
  • Do you have any plans to publish some of the materials?

Then in the following 40 minutes, the examiners went straight into criticising my main argument (“oligopoly of security providers in Rio de Janeiro”) and it was quite challenging to defend my research choices. The rest of the viva continued in a similar format. One of the professors would give a “mini-lecture” on a certain aspect of my thesis and I then had the opportunity to defend myself and explain my arguments. The whole process was quite exhausting but I also enjoyed it because it showed that these two very distinguished and well-known professors had read and analysed my whole thesis (a good 290 pages) in a lot of depth.

After the examination, I had to leave the room quickly so that the professors could decide on the outcome of the viva. When I was asked back into the room, they told me that I had passed with minor corrections and explained the changes I needed to make over the next three months. I was very happy with this result and felt relieved. We called my supervisor and together we had a glass of champagne and then went for dinner.

After defending the thesis

On the next morning, I had to go immediately back to Vienna to continue with my work at UNODC. The next day at work I felt that I must be one of the smartest and dumbest interns my department ever had. Smart because I had just passed my PhD viva and dumb because here I was, 28 years old and doing an unpaid internship. Two weeks later, I received the official report by the examiners. It was quite a lot of pages so I panicked a bit and then not looked at it again for the next two months while finishing the internship.

Upon my return to London, I immediately started working on the corrections and it took me a good three weeks. I must say it was quite difficult because after a few months of working outside academia, it felt like a huge step backwards to work on the thesis again. I also felt under a lot of pressure to find a job and sometimes I felt that the thesis corrections were getting in the way of my job applications (or the other way around?). All in all, I must admit though that the thesis has been hugely improved by doing the minor corrections and I am grateful that I was forced to go through this rite of passage.

Useful information

For those preparing for the viva, I would recommend to watch these videos by Imperial College London which explain the examination process quite nicely. And if I can just give you one piece of advice: write your thesis as best as possible before you submit it! Little inconsistencies in your arguments, a weak theoretical framework or unfeasible policy recommendations may backfire at you during the viva. From my own experience, I can say that making changes to the thesis after the examination is a lot harder than before, simply because your mind will already be in another world.

To read more on this topics, read “Defending your PhD thesis in… Spain” by Jorrit Kamminga.

From the Desk to the Pram: PhD and Parenthood

By Susan Hoppert-Flaemig, September 2014

One of the things I love about being a PhD researcher in Peace Studies in Bradford is learning about other researchers’ lives since they come from all over the world. When I was pregnant I talked to my colleague from Ethiopia about social and family policy. He was surprised to hear about the social benefits for families in Germany – “You get money for having a baby?!” It reminded me how blessed I am; I live in one of the countries with almost ideal conditions for raising children (even if many Germans don’t think so): it is a peaceful and safe environment with access to health care and education and with financial support from the state. Indeed, my baby is healthy and happy, and as a mum I am happy too.

As a PhD researcher, however, a baby is a challenge. While my colleagues finish their PhDs, publish articles, and apply for grants, my researcher career slowed down several months ago. I can’t really say what it is like writing a thesis and having a baby because I have not been able to work on the thesis since my son was born. But I do remember what it was like to write a thesis and I observed some similarities between doing a PhD and having a baby: PhDs/ babies demand a lot of my attention and time. I am constantly thinking about the PhD/ the baby and I tend to neglect and forget other things: Social life is scarce, the dirty laundry is piling up, and I just can’t remember the pin number of my credit card. It also takes hours before I get dressed in the morning – I might lose a good idea on how to continue with my chapter if I don’t sit down immediately after breakfast; and my son doesn’t care whether I’m in my pyjamas or not when I carry him around.

I also observed some difference between doing a PhD and having a baby: for someone who spent years sitting at the desk, it is physically exhausting having a child. Not only am I sleep deprived, I am also constantly carrying my son while shopping/ washing the dishes/ making dinner; instead of sitting at my desk I walk around; and the pram needs to be lifted up and down the stairs daily. Finally, although I like my research topic, life with a baby is more fulfilling; it feels more complete and goes deeper. Every now and then I have doubts about my PhD but raising a child is always meaningful.

Next week, my husband’s paternity leave begins (another benefit of living in Germany…) which means I will start working on the thesis again. I have mixed feelings about it: I look forward to returning to academic work (and to sitting down at my desk) but it also means less time with my son, and the pressure to complete the thesis will be more present. I will have to learn to live with that feeling that probably many PhD researchers who are also parents know: The constant feeling of being torn between being a good parent and pursuing an academic career.

Susan Hoppert-Flaemig with her babyTo read more about PhD and parenthood, read Kari Mariska Pries‘ article on “Fieldwork in Violence and Security: The Impact of Researcher Pregnancy.

Fieldwork in Violence and Security: The Impact of Researcher Pregnancy

By Kari Mariska Pries, July 2014

Building relationships with interview subjects during fieldwork is a process fraught with complications. Study subjects tend to exhibit at least a moderate amount of interest in the personal life of the researcher during the research process, especially as relationships deepen in the process of “gaining access” in our target area. How to answer these questions and deciding what to share is a challenge that has been hotly debated in the social sciences. All interactions are altered by what information we choose to share, affecting participant parties in uncontrollable and sometimes unexpected ways. As we researchers move between the field and the university setting at home, our perceptions also change; both of ourselves and with regards to the ongoing relationships we have on either end. For instance, Scheyvens and Nowak (2003) discuss the stress a researcher’s partner undergoes during fieldwork which can impact on the emotions and ability of the researcher to complete tasks. In many cultures, women researching on their own whilst (any potential) partner remains at home can also raise questions. Relationships and families can significantly alter the way an individual is perceived by their research subjects as well. Field researchers have sometimes commented that to bring their families into the field, whilst dangerous, can also humanise them to their research subjects (Cassell 1987). Scheyvens and Nowak explain that “For a woman, in particular, going into a fieldwork situation and leaving her family at home is something incomprehensible to people from many cultures” (2003, 112). Yet, here at the Researching Security Network, there have been several women who have ventured into the field to conduct research, not only leaving partners and loved ones behind, but doing so whilst expecting a child. As part of a special series, we would like to explore our experiences conducting research on violence and security across Latin America whilst undergoing this awe-inspiring and complicated familial change.

Contemplating Pregnancy whilst Researching Violence

I completed my first period of fieldwork in April 2012 and, after several months of writing and revising that initial data, planned to return in September 2012 for another 6 months. It was over this break that I discovered that I was pregnant. As soon as this was confirmed with a doctor and a potential due date plotted, I informed my supervisor. Unlike the typical joke warning of “don’t get pregnant during [PhD, fieldwork, school, etc.]”, she was very supportive and together we worked to make my remaining research requirements more fitting to a pregnancy timeframe. At this early stage we decided to modify my research project to alter the breadth of the scope. Whereas the project began as a multi-country comparative analysis, it became instead an in-depth single country approach; examining multi-level rather than multi-lateral policy development frameworks. This altered the nature of my study and shifted some of the relevant literature. Influencing this decision were several purely practical considerations. First, I was most familiar with one country in Central America and had an established support network there. The security of office space, a room in the house of a former colleague and regular transportation was important to assuring both partner and the University that risk controls were in place and mitigated the greatest variables of any typical research project. Second, given the restricted timeframe of the project by a birth and maternity leave, it seemed best to limit travel times between destinations and to focus on an area where interview subjects would be more concentrated. Finally, given a history of working in the country and building on a first period of fieldwork already completed, it seemed prudent to build on existing research relationships and use them to snowball interview subjects rather than spend more time re-establishing basic networks in a new country. I was lucky that my supervisor, and through her the School, did not have too many concerns about continuing fieldwork under reproduction conditions. It appeared unlikely that the pregnancy would alter my security or vulnerability to violence whilst in situ. Therefore, the only significant limits on my time and movements in the field were those imposed by my own abilities, the healthy progression of my pregnancy and by airlines who limit flights for advanced pregnancy.

Beginning Again: A burgeoning presence

I was unfortunate in that my pregnancy was visible almost from the outset so that, once I returned to the field, anyone who had met me previously was quickly aware of my changing situation. New interview subjects might have initially assumed that I had a naturally bulbous figure but there was little question of generally proceeding without acknowledgement of the change. Jones (1990, 786) calls on theorists to recognize women’s “embodied lives” and how our bodies as gendered entities influences life experiences. Our work and our activities are affected even without a second human taking up residence inside the first. Additionally, at one point or another, women researching violence and security are required to define themselves within these violent spaces and in relation to victims, perpetrators (victim/perpetrators) and geography. We are forever attempting to control for the influence of who we are or what we might represent on the data we collect through interviews and other forms of field activities including participant observations. In the previous period of fieldwork, I had been careful to dress up professionally, considering my primary interview subjects at that time were institutional and government officials.[1] How much more difficult then, to maintain such an appearance when heat exhaustion, nausea and swollen body parts make you wish for a tent dress and a comfortable chair in an air conditioned office. Nonetheless, ensuring I was well presented became increasingly important both to maintain my sanity and self-respect (pregnant bodies are unwieldy at the best of times).

Researching security at the policy level is not always an easy topic for a woman to break into, especially with male-dominated police forces, military personnel and top level government officials. I was particularly worried that a gringa story phenomenon would be exacerbated by what I perceived as my burgeoning femininity and vulnerability due to increasingly limited mobility. The young innocent image turned out to be somewhat less of a problem during the second round although there were other embodied social reactions which took its place. In many of my interviews there was at least some reference made to the pregnancy, usually at the interview subject’s instigation. This occurred more frequent with women than with men; the latter were slightly more likely to ignore it all together. The main question I received from both men and women was how my husband felt about me being in a foreign country by myself. The explanation that he was supportive of the goals of the research and of me seemed to be confusing but usually ended that line of discussion. My sense in the sessions was that the pregnancy stopped some of the previous castaway remarks about my being young or too young to be conducting research on this subject and that discussions were straighter to the point. I was still there doing the job so perhaps it caused my efforts to be taken more seriously. Or perhaps pregnancy did, in some way, cause me to take myself more seriously, as well. However, it was definitely the case that I was sometimes less inclined to prolonged pleasantries and long descriptive discussions in favour of a dialogue which addressed the central questions, challenged the obvious pat narratives and moved quickly to the essentials. Chairs were hard and the heat not always pleasant.

Field visits were another set of challenges for the pregnant body. Given the level of my motion sickness, buses were out of the question even if security had not dictated the choice unwise. Transport to other regional departments in El Salvador had to be arranged well in advance so that a car and driver from the office in which I was based could be freed up to take me. In one or two instances my research could have benefitted from an additional site visit but I was unable to stomach the journey. Moving about during site visits also invited a different level of interaction of individuals with my pregnant body. During one particularly memorable occasion, a (female) PNC official accompanying a group of visitors through a local holding cell (bartolina) complex made a motion to touch my belly and stated that she knew for certain due to the shape of its roundness that I was to have a strong boy. The incongruity of the jail cell construction site with high level officials on one side and at least 30 youth locked up in a single cage on the other whilst this woman pronounced the future of my child through her finger tips was surreal. Equally memorable was the afternoon I spent in a municipality known for its violence. Because of a mix-up with transport, ready money and a dead mobile, I spent most of the afternoon on the front stoop of the small gang rehabilitation NGO resting in a truly pregnant recline. Despite the area’s reputation, the shining sun against the backdrop of the local church and the surprisingly clean streets provided the perfect foil for the comings and goings of youth as well as several tattooed older gentlemen who worked there. There was even cake. Gilligan (1982 in Ortbals and Rincker 2009, 316) discusses how a pregnant woman is more likely to feel the interconnected nature of humanity, a societal as well as a physical motherhood. I suppose these feelings may have been stronger during those tranquil moments but it was not until the next week, when one of those tattooed older persons, a former gang leader, was killed on that same stoop in a rain of bullets that researching violence and security in El Salvador felt a bit too interconnected to bear.


High riding emotions are a key stressor when conducting pregnant field research and can bring on complications. My flexible fieldworker’s diet of fruit, vegetables and street food had been pared down to sugar-rich fruit and grains in pregnancy because of food poisoning and bacteria worries and it impacted the way I was able to function. Stress was also a likely factor in increasing health vulnerabilities. What could have easily been controlled at home became one more guilt-inducing complication to manage in the field. Precise interview timings are also a relative rarity in this context and waiting became more than the usual trial as blood sugar levels bounced wildly, only partially mitigated by snacks secreted about my person. Further pregnancy restrictions on the use of sunscreen and mosquito repellant, outdoor movement was limited during sunlight hours and sleep proved elusive whilst debating between mosquito’s whine and sweltering covers as well as remembering which side of the body was allowed for safe sleep. If a more pressing health concern had emerged, however, I had places to turn. On several occasions during interviews with women who were also mothers, the discussion turned to the practicalities of being pregnant in El Salvador. In particular, I received recommendations for several doctors, places to undergo pre-natal scans and home phone numbers should I ever require help. There were good birthing stories and less comforting ones to be recounted. And there was a reminder that, if I did end up in hospital, to keep a tight grip on my suitcase. I was informed of one couple who had recently delivered a child and the case carrying the cash they required to pay the hospital had been robbed at gun-point in the parking lot.

Concluding Remarks

Researching violence and security is a context already fraught with emotion and high passion even when approaching it from a policy perspective as I do. To add a pregnant body into the equation challenges some traditional fieldwork tenets in the sense of whom we expect a researcher to be but does not have to limit their ability to complete the terms of their fieldwork. There were some notable advantages to having that unborn child in the interview room as a silent but present witness. First, on a practical level, pregnancy did not reduce my ability to do my job but rather impacted on both energy and patience; it most certainly affected the manner in which I conducted some interviews. Second, it appeared to influence interview subject perceptions on the seriousness with which I was conducting this research. Pregnancy also appeared to influence the manner in which I connected with both subjects and geography. It also made me incredibly grateful for the colleagues and network that I had in El Salvador. Without a bed to sleep in, transportation when taxis or walking were insufficient, and friendly communications every date, the project would have been much more difficult. Finally, biology has a mean way of catching up with a woman but also provides that extra level of determination and drive to get what you need in order to go home and unbutton your belt. As Ortbals and Rincker (2009, 319) conclude “these so-called advantages ultimately stem from the embodied lives women cannot escape”.


Cassell, Joan (ed.). 1987. Children in the Field. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Jones, Kathleen. 1990. “Citizenship in a Woman-Friendly Polity.” Signs 15. pp. 780-812.

Ortbals, Candice and Meg Rincker. 2009. “Embodied Researchers: Gendered Bodies, Research Activity, and Pregnancy in the Field.” PS: Political Science and Politics 42. pp. 315-319.

Scheyvens, Henry and Barbara Nowak. 2003. “Personal Issues.” Regina Scheyvens and Donovan Storey (eds.). Development Fieldwork: A Practical Guide. London: Sage Publications Ltd. pp. 119-138.


[1] On several occasions, I received remarks as to how this was appreciated as a “sign of professional expectation” and deprecating comments sometimes followed about the dress of some researchers and activists in similar positions. A powerful topic for another time both in terms of how people feel able to comment freely on a woman’s personal presentation and clothing may influence the types of answers you receive in an interview or even the access you are able to obtain to specific interview subjects.

More information on Kari Mariska Pries’ academic and professional interests can  be found here. A recent conferene presentation on “Transnational Security Challenges in National Context: El Salvador” (June 2014) can be accessed here.

Research student Kari Mariska Pries in El Salvador