Global Americans and the Canadian Council for the Americas present “Two gringos with questions,” an interview series featuring political and cultural leaders from across the Americas. In the fifteenth episode, Chris and Ken talk to El Salvador’s newly inaugurated Vice President, Félix Ulloa. This conversation took place before Vice President Ulloa took office on June 1 and before the State Department’s announcement it would officially cut millions of dollars in foreign aid to Central America.
Vice President Ulloa is a lawyer and politician. Before taking office, Ulloa was the acting president of the Institute of Juridical Studies of El Salvador (IEJES), a nonprofit civil society organization dedicated to the research and training on human rights issues, governance, democratic values and practices. For over 25 years, Ulloa was a consultant on over 30 national and international election missions, and has worked with organizations like the Electoral Assistance Division of the United Nations, Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, Organization of American States, and National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.
From 1994 to 1999, Ulloa was a magistrate in the Supreme Electoral Tribunal of El Salvador. Following the signing of El Salvador’s Peace Accords in 1992, he was a member of the Special Copyediting Committee for the post-war Electoral Code, and a member of the Surveillance Board of Political Parties of El Salvador in 1993. He was also a member of the political commission of the National Revolutionary Movement (MNR). Ulloa has been a professor of political science in the law school and doctorate professor of social sciences at the University of El Salvador (UES) and has served various positions in the law faculty at the Central American University “José Simeón Cañas” UCA, as well as the post-graduate unit in the Technical University of El Salvador. Ulloa received a BS in Judicial Sciences from University of El Salvador, and a PhD from the National University of Distance Education in Madrid, Spain.
Vice President Ulloa ran with President Nayib Bukele, the outsider candidate and former mayor of San Salvador. Although Bukele ended up running for president with he conservative Great Alliance for National Unity party (GANA), he was a former member of the leftist Front Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN). Bukele and Ulloa ran on an anti-corruption platform with their official slogan being: “there’s enough money when no one steals,” a stab at the deeply rooted corruption in the country’s government.
To discuss the future of El Salvador, Chris and Ken speak to Ulloa about Trump’s then-threat of cutting aid to Central America for their supposed failure at controlling illegal migration to the U.S., the end of the two-party hold on the presidency, and ending corruption in El Salvador.