FMLN presidential candidate Mauricio Funes has made an unusual appeal to exhort his countrymen not to become violent during Sunday's election.
Funes made the statement in a report distributed by the Cuban propaganda agency Prensa Latina.
The statement comes as the FMLN faces the possibility of winning the presidency without resorting to violence. The FMLN is allied with street gangs, known as maras, which act as the party's local enforcers (click here for video).
The FMLN and the Cuban regime are accusing conservative ARENA party activists of isolated acts of harassment. Funes warned his supporters not to respond to what he called "provocations."
Max Manwaring, an El Salvador expert at the US Army's Strategic Studies Institute and a noted authority on the FMLN, reported in 2005 that the more sophisticated Central American gangs were becoming politically active in order to defend and expand their territories and illegal operations.
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