San Salvador, March 15
The gorilla problem was supposed to be solved. Since the peace accords of the late '80s and early '90s, Central America has been a gorilla-free zone, those violent and communistic elements constrained to zoos, no longer threatening Monroe Doctrinist interventions with poop-slinging or photogenic Goodall-cuddling.
With the gorillas neutralized, foreign investment and economic dependence (including national debt-restructuring) continued on their merry, neoliberal way in El Salvador, so small yet once so ravaged by 12 years of gorilla-style civil war.
The rightist "Arena" (Spanish for "sand") party rose, asserting confidence in an ape-less (if economically inequitable, foreign-interest dominated, and increasingly gang-violence driven) society. For 20 years, Arena candidates won the presidency.
But the gorillas persisted, lurking in the leafy shadows, fronted by a self-titled front: the Frente Farabundo Mart√≠ de Liberaci√≥n Nacional--its moniker drawn from a banana-loving, peasant-uprising-encouraging Salvadoran historical figure, Farabundo Mart√≠. These supposedly "former" FMLN gorillas (they had laid down their arms, but not their simian ways) bided their time, grooming themselves for mites and electoral success.
International reports remained ambivalent on the outcome of the Salvadoran presidential elections right up until the voting began Sunday. Many thought it was too close to call, but the bananas knew, quailing in their peels as vote after vote was cast for FMLN candidates. When presidential candidate Mauricio Funes declared victory, the bananas were about ready to split. The results were in: banana fever walked all over sand.
While Funes, a former telecaster, claims no personal involvement with gorilla forces, he is a party man, proud to lead the FMLN to its first presidency and turn the tide of Salvadoran politics a bit more crimson. For not only are the FMLN gorillas damn, dirty apes, they're leftist apes, redder than a baboon's bottom in heat.