Like its predecessor, this study is an attempt to treat in a compact and objective manner the dominant social, political, economic, and military aspects of contemporary El Salvador. Sources of information included scholarly books, journals, and monographs; official reports of governments and international organizations; numerous periodicals; and interviews with individuals having special competence in Salvadoran and Latin American affairs. Measurements are given in the metric system.
Although there are numerous variations, Spanish surnames generally consist of two parts: the patrilineal name followed by the matrilineal. In the instance of José Napoleón Duarte Fuentes, for example, Duarte is his father's name and Fuentes his mother's maiden name. In nonformal use, the matrilineal name is often dropped. Thus, after the first mention, just Duarte is used. A minority of individuals use only the patrilineal name. El Salvador also abounds in political and other organizational acronyms. Where discrepancies existed, the form most frequently employed in the country itself has been used.
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