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Esquipulas Ii Agreement

The Nicaraguan Esquipulas Peace Agreement, also known as the Central American Peace Agreement, was a peace initiative in the mid-1980s to resolve the military conflicts that have hit Central America for many years and, in some cases (notably Guatemala) for decades. It was built on the foundations laid by the Contadora Group from 1983 to 1985. The agreement is named after Esquipulas, Guatemala, where the first meetings were held. The U.S. Congressional lobbying was supported by one of The best lobbyists on Capitol Hill, William C. Chasey. In 1995, the presidents of the Central American countries of Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama agreed on a procedure for a new security agreement for Central America, based on new security concepts. In August 1995, a new draft treaty entitled “Central American Democratic Security Treaty” was submitted for consideration. After several months of negotiations, the draft treaty was signed on 15 December 1995 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. The treaty strengthens democracy in the region, protects human rights, begins to eliminate drug and arms trafficking, encourages sustainable development and promotes a regional arms control agreement that promotes transparency, confidence and long-term peace. The United States still maintains military bases in Panama and Honduras. With Panamanian bases to be evacuated by 1999, frequent calls from US politicians to renegotiate the deal are threatening.

Meanwhile, Gen. Wesley Clark, the head of Southern Command, recently announced that he would soon bolster the U.S. presence at Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras. Initial progress was made in the months following the signing of the agreement. A meeting was held between the Guatemalan government and the URNG (a guerrilla group), a meeting between Salvadoran President José Napoleón Duarte and the FMLN-FDR (a coalition of opposition and guerrilla parties) and contacts were established between the Nicaraguan Sandinista government and the Contras. On August 7, 1987, the five Central American presidents signed a peace agreement called Esquipulas II, named after the Guatemalan city where the first round of meetings had taken place the previous year. The agreement contained a number of provisions relating to cooperation between the five countries and above all called for an end to the support provided by all signatories to “irregular forces”. .

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