Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

Enrique Alvarez Cordova (El Salvador)

Assassinated, posthumously awarded

Enrique Álvarez Córdova (March 4, 1930 – November 27, 1980) was a politician and statesman of El Salvador. He studied economics and agriculture at Rutgers University in the US. In 1953 his father, Don Enrique Álvarez Drews, bought the hacienda „El Jobo.“ Later on, under the direction of Enrique Alvarez Córdova, it became a highly productive, model agricultural farm.

During the transition to modern, technological agriculture in El Salvador, Cordova was one of the first to support better working conditions, childcare, and education.

Enrique Álvarez Córdova was Director of the Banco Capitalizador, President of the Compañía Salvadoreña de Café, S.A., directing member of the Departamento Nacional del Café, and from 1968 to 1974 he was the Minister for Agriculture and Cattle. During this time period he was also the chairperson for the National Agricultural Reform Commission. The goal of the Reform, that was never realized, was to better distribute earnings and end corruption. In 1979, Enrique Alvarez returned as the country’s Secretary of Commerce at the same time as the first military coup. He returned with the hope that the new military regime would realize the socioeconomic benefits of the reforms. However, Enrique Alvarez had to resign shortly afterwards and fled to Mexico, but returned to El Salvador in 1980, where he was murdered on November 28, 1980 by extreme rights militias.

Enrique Alvarez Córdovas devoted his life to bettering the lives of the farmers in El Salvador. He advocated for them as a politician with his agricultural reforms, and as the President of the Democratic-Revolutionary Front of El Salvador (FDR). In 1981 he was posthumously awarded the Bruno Kreisky Prize.