On 15 March 2009, Mauricio Funes, the candidate of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN)–a former guerrilla movement that laid down its arms in 1992 and reconstituted itself as a political party–won the presidential election in El Salvador, marking the country's first peaceful turnover of power since the nation-state became independent in 1821. But sweeping social and political change will probably be elusive; instead, political and economic constraints are apt to lead to a surprising continuity in public policy.