Friday, February 3, 2012

Mauricio Funes

Carlos Mauricio Funes Cartagena (born 18 October 1959 in San Salvador) is the President of El Salvador. He won the 2009 presidential election as the candidate of the left-wing Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) political party and took office on 1 June 2009.

Funes was married to Dr. Vanada Pignado, who was involved in the Workers' Party in Brazil. They have one son, Gabriel. Funes received his High School Diploma (Bachillerato) from the Externado San José, and completed his licenciate in literature at Universidad Centroamericana "José Simeón Cañas"(UCA). Both Externado and UCA are jesuit institutions, something that has deeply influenced president Funes. In this respect, Funes has mentioned his relationship to the murdered scholars of UCA as of particular significance in his professional and personal development. In 1994 he was awarded the Maria Moors Cabot prize from Columbia University for promoting press freedom and inter-American understanding.

Funes' brother was killed during the Salvadoran Civil War. His oldest son, Alejandro Funes Velasco, who was 27 years old, died after being attacked in Paris, France, where he was studying photography.

Journalist career
Prior to his involvement with politics, Funes was a journalist who hosted a popular interview show on television. He made appearances on Channel 12 and CNN en Español, and also hosted local news programs which were critical of previous governments. He was a reporter during the Salvadoran Civil War and interviewed leftist rebel leaders. It was during this time that he became more politically oriented and left-wing.

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