The International Security and Development Cooperation Act of 1981 provides that every 180 days the president must certify to the Congress his determination that the Salvadoran government:

(1) is making a concerted and significant effort to comply with internationally recognized human rights;

(2) is achieving substantial control over all elements of its own armed forces, so as to bring to an end the indiscriminate torture and murder of Salvadoran citizens by these forces;

(3) is making continued progress in implementing essential economic and political reforms, including the land reform program;

(4) is committed to the holding of free elections at an early date and to that end has demonstrated its good faith efforts to begin discussions with all major political factions in El Salvador which have declared their willingness to find and implement an equitable political solution to the conflict, with such solution to involve a commitment to--

(A) a renouncement of further military or paramilitary activity; and

(B) the electoral process with internationally recognized observers.

The act was later amended to include a provision that the president also certify that the Salvadoran government has made good faith efforts both to investigate the murders of the six United States citizens in El Salvador in December 1980 and January 1981 and to bring those responsible for the murders to justice.