El Salvador

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The men and women of El Salvador are the ones who decide... ~ Salvador Sánchez Cerén

El Salvador officially the Republic of El Salvador, is the smallest and the most densely populated country in Central America. The country's capital city and largest city is San Salvador. Important cultural and commercial centers for Central America on the whole include Santa Ana and San Miguel. El Salvador borders the Pacific Ocean on the south, and the countries of Guatemala to the west and Honduras to the north and east. Its easternmost region lies on the coast of the Gulf of Fonseca, opposite Nicaragua. As of 2009, El Salvador had a population of approximately 5,744,113 people, composed predominantly of "Mestizos".

Quotes[edit]

  • The real lesson of Romero is that there are no legitimate reasons to deny human rights. His government in his time believed that human rights could be somewhat “suspended” to protect El Salvador from Communist influences coming from the Soviet Union via Cuba and Nicaragua. Romero was certainly not an admirer of the Soviet Union, but believed there should be other ways of protecting his country, not suspending human rights. He taught us that those who advocate for human rights are “for” their countries, not “against” them.
  • For many years, repression, torture and murder were carried on in El Salvador by dictators installed and supported by our government... The story was virtually never covered. By the late 1970s, however, the US government began to be concerned about a couple of things... In El Salvador in the 1970s, there was a growth of what were called "popular organizations"-peasant associations, cooperatives, unions, Church-based Bible study groups that evolved into self-help groups, etc. That raised the threat of democracy. In February 1980, the Archbishop of EI Salvador, Oscar Romero, sent a letter to President Carter in which he begged him not to send military aid to the junta that ran the country. He said such aid would be used to "sharpen injustice and repression against the people’s organizations" which were struggling "for respect for their most basic human rights" (hardly news to Washington, needless to say). A few weeks later, Archbishop Romero was assassinated while saying a mass.
  • On March 7, 1980, two weeks before the assassination, a state of siege had been instituted in El Salvador, and the war against the population began in force (with continued US support and involvement). The first major attack was a big massacre at the Rio Sumpul, a coordinated military operation of the Honduran and Salvadoran armies in which at least 600 people were butchered. Infants were cut to pieces with machetes, and women were tortured and drowned. Pieces of bodies were found in the river for days afterwards. There were church observers, so the information came out immediately, but the mainstream US media didn’t think it was worth reporting. Peasants were the main victims of this war, along with labor organizers, students, priests or anyone suspected of working for the interests of the people. In Carter’s last year, 1980, the death toll reached about 10,000, rising to about 13,000 for 1981 as the Reaganites took command.
  • There’s slave labor, crushing poverty, torture, mass murder, every horror you can think of. In El Salvador alone, from October 1979 (a date to which I’ll return) until December 1981 — approximately two years — about 30,000 people were murdered and about 600,000 refugees created. Those figures have about doubled since. Most of the murders were carried out by U.S.-backed military forces, including so-called death squads. The efficiency of the massacre in El Salvador has recently increased with direct participation of American military forces. American planes based in Honduran and Panamanian sanctuaries, military aircraft, now coordinate bombing raids over El Salvador, which means that the Salvadoran air force can more effectively kill fleeing peasants and destroy villages, and, in fact, the kill rate has gone up corresponding to that.
  • When the structures and values of Salvadoran society exemplify a democratic system, then the revolution I have worked for will have taken place. This is my dream.
  • On Monday, the Salvadoran Justice granted conditional freedom to a woman who has spent nine years in prison as part of a 30-year conviction for aggravated homicide, which she allegedly committed when aborting. The Citizen Group for the Abortion Decriminalization (ACDA) explained that the woman, identified as Kenya, was raped at age 17, became pregnant, and suffered an obstetric emergency, which the Police considered an abortion attempt... We celebrate the liberation of Kenya by stressing that our fight for the right to women on deciding on their bodies will not finish until we ensure justice for all companions," ACDA President Morena Herrera stated. The Salvadoran penal code prohibits abortion in all cases and establishes penalties of up to eight years for those citizens who commit it. Despite this, prosecutors and judges often classify abortion cases —including the involuntary termination of pregnancy— as aggravated homicides, which are punishable by up to 50 years' imprisonment.

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