hall of Mirrors concluSion
A confrontation on July 5, 2006, between university students and the Salva-
doran National Police arguably marked the passage from social to political
violence. Two police officers in the PNC’s anti- riot unit were killed outside
the National University of El Salvador during a protest against increased bus
fares. Certainly ARENA latched onto the killings as signs of the reradical-
ization of the Left; much was made of the fact that the alleged killer, Mario
Belloso, was a low- level member of the FMLN. This incident, together with
an overall increase in violence, ensured the passage of the Anti- Terrorist Law
later that year.
For many Salvadorans, the introduction of the Anti- Terrorist Law, even
though it was based on a similar law in Cuba, harkened back to the repres-
sive history of El Salvador.1 Roberto Burgos, the constitutional lawyer who I
had consulted about the U.S.- run International Law Enforcement Academy,
expressed his fears of the potential consequences of the new law this way:
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