Fidel Sánchez Hernández

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This name uses Spanish naming customs; the first or paternal family name is Sánchez and the second or maternal family name is Hernández.
Fidel Sánchez Hernández
Fidel Sanchez Hernandez.JPG
President of El Salvador
In office
July 1, 1967 – October 15, 1972
Preceded by Julio Adalberto Rivera
Succeeded by Arturo Armando Molina
Personal details
Born (1917-07-17)July 17, 1917
El Divisadero, El Salvador
Died February 28, 2003(2003-02-28) (aged 85)
San Salvador, El Salvador
Political party National Coalition Party
Profession Military, politician

Fidel Sánchez Hernández (July 7, 1917 in El Divisadero– February 28, 2003) was a politician, general, and former President of El Salvador. It could be said that Sánchez Hernández led his country during a tumultuous era. While ruling El Salvador from 1967 to 1972, Sánchez Hernández faced war and economic turmoil.

Before becoming president, Sánchez Hernández was an army general in El Salvador and had brief stints as a military attaché in Washington (after his participation in the overthrow of José María Lemus in 1960) and in Paris. President Julio Adalberto Rivera promoted him to Minister of the Interior in 1962, and he served in that office until 1967, when he succeeded Rivera to the position of president. He continued Rivera's progressive programs and created a mostly civilian cabinet. The 1967 election was considered the one of the few in the period of military domination to have been fairly conducted, indeed the gains made by the opposition (winning in fact a majority of the popular vote) in the legislative and local elections the following year suggested El Salvador was on the road to democratisation, a trend that would not be continued as elections in the 1970s were blatantly rigged.

In July 1969 Sánchez Hernández led the Salvadoran army in its brief but violent Football War against Honduras. He had much success, occupying a large part of that country. But, under a cease-fire agreement arranged by the Organization of American States, Sánchez Hernández agreed to pull his troops out, much to the opposition of many of his military leaders.

The war with Honduras led to much economic distress in El Salvador. Refugees, mostly Salvadorans that resided in Honduras, poured into the country and Honduras closed off trade routes.

Sánchez Hernández remained president until 1972 and was succeeded by Colonel Arturo Armando Molina.

On the night of February 28, 2003, Sánchez Hernández, aged 85, died of a heart attack while being taken to a military hospital in El Salvador.

Political offices
Preceded by
Julio Adalberto Rivera
President of El Salvador
1967–1972
Succeeded by
Arturo Armando Molina