FMLN presidential candidate Mauricio Funes is not appearing in public with his pro-Al Qaeda running mate.
Vice presidential candidate Salvador Sanchez Ceren, a militant who said that Al Qaeda was justified in attacking the United Sates on September 11, 2001, has become so controversial that the FMLN campaign has decided for "strategic" reasons not to have him appear in public with the moderate-looking Funes.
Sanchez Ceren admitted the strategy in an interview with the Salvadoran newspaper La Prensa Grafica, published March 10. (Click here for a video of the interview, in Spanish)
Known as Leonel Gonzalez during the war when he headed the militant FPL faction of the FMLN, Sanchez Ceren has admitted to killing his own comrades over policy disputes and is unrepentant about his communist ideology and his actions to try to turn El Salvador into a totalitarian revolutionary state. He continues to come under political fire for participating in a September 15, 2001 demonstration accusing the United States of terrorism and justifying Al Qaeda's attacks.
A group of US congressmen led by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) openly sympathizes with the FMLN and has raised no objections to Sanchez Ceren's candidacy or his stated support for terrorism.
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