This chapter examines the objectives and implementation of that reform has been at the core of the controversies concerning the centrist government and United States policy toward El Salvador. Peasant mobilization in El Salvador in the 1970s challenged the system of domination that had allowed small elite to control most of the land and the profits from its cultivation. Archbishop Romero met a similar fate in March 1980, his murder eliminating the most powerful voice for peace in El Salvador. The growing movement against the Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua in 1979 intensified the conflict in El Salvador. Because reform was largely forced on the Salvadoran government from the outside, the domestic distribution of power was insufficient to insure faithful implementation of a reformist program. Some observers have denied that deteriorating economic conditions contributed to popular frustrations in El Salvador in the 1970s and therefore to the civil war that followed.