Salvadoran bloggers on the left are writing posts questioning El Salvador's level of military spending, particularly where there are pressing social problems in the country including crime, sanitation, and poverty. This small Central American country of six million people had a military budget in 2005 of $162 million (source: CIA World Fact Book).
The blogger Hunnapuh looks at the level of spending(es) on the armed forces. He performs some basic math to show that persons in the armed forces above the lowest ranks are earning more per month than a teacher or a doctor. This disparity has lead Hunnapuh to campaign on his blog for the abolition of the army.
El Visitador disagrees, calling the army a necessary insurance policy(es). Without an army, he asserts, El Salvador would look like Cuba and Mexico would be ruled by Commandante Marcos, as armed rebel movements take control of Latin American countries.
On the Hunnapuh blog, a poll (es) is being conducted asking readers if they favor abolishing the army. 70% in the poll favor abolishing the army, but this may have more to do with who reads blogs in El Salvador than it does with actual popular sentiment.
Meanwhile, Tim's El Salvador Blog describes the war of words between Honduras and El Salvador over the deserted island of Conejo in the Gulf of Fonseca, and wonders whether the army is maintained for just such a dispute. Hunnapuh believes it is no coincidence(es) that, just when voices are starting to be raised about the abolition of the army, a border dispute and an affront to Salvadoran sovereignty appears.