Brigadier General Francisco Ramon Salinas Rivera—Armed Forces of El Salvador
The economic crisis has three significant effects on the El Salvadoran Navy: its structure, operations, and strategy.
The crisis and the resultant unemployment will paradoxically have a positive effect on the armed forces and the navy in particular. A significant portion of the unemployed civil population will choose to join the military or National Police for stable employment. The training of naval personnel financed from different sources, such as military assistance from the United States, will enhance our level of specialization and reduce our reliance on foreign personnel.
The lack of employment opportunities, reduced tax income, and deportations to our country of Salvadorans with crime links are some of the forces that facilitate the development and strengthening of the Mara Salvatrucha and Mara 18th Street (M18) gangs in the cities of Puerto El Triunfo, Puerto de La Libertad, and Puerto Acajutla. It is necessary to employ marine units to restore civil order and economic activity, and the reduction of crime.
The combination of the devaluation of the dollar and oil price increases directly affects support of naval operations. The purchasing power of our static budget is significantly reduced.
There is an ever-greater demand for naval presence and deterrence in the littoral areas of our national jurisdiction because of emerging threats and the strengthening of existing illegal drug and human trafficking and smuggling networks. The difficulty for us is the development and modernization of the navy, specifically in the transfer of technology, and the purchase of surface units and special equipment.
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