From US-El Salvador Sister Cities:
January 16th marks the 14th anniversary of the signing of the Peace Accords in El Salvador. To reflect on what this means for the reality of the Salvadoran people and the changes of the last 14 years, a few quotes:
"Watch your children and prohibit their participation in subversive acts ... that is where violence is generated, that is where subversive propaganda is printed, there... is the base of unrest in our country."
General Humberto Romero, President of El Salvador from 1977-1979
"Peace is not the product of terror or fear. Peace is not the silence of cemeteries. Peace is not the product of violence and repression... True peace is only achieved through justice... by sharing fairly the richness of our country between all Salvadoran men and women."
Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, 1979
"One fundamental element of these agreements, and one which is critical for El Salvador's democratic future, is the unreserved, unconditional subordination of the military authorities to civilian authority, not only on paper but in reality: in a democratic system based on respect for the constitutional order and governed by the rule of law"
United Nations 1993 Truth Commission Report entitled "From Madness to Hope"
"The governments and groups that have controlled the economy and the State have been obstacles to the effective implementation of the peace accords, deforming the spirit and letter of the agreement in such a way that we can say that the process towards open democratic processes with political accords suffers a deep setback, with a government in a state of illegitimacy and authoritarianism that is moving toward a new kind of dictatorship."
Pedro Juan Hernandez, Leader MPR-12
"The democratization of this country was one of the transcendental objectives of the peace accords and has been annulled by the growing government authoritarianism, the disrespect for the Rule of Law, the creation of mechanisms for political control and repression among growing expressions of rejection of state policies by the population. This generates a lack of functionality in government in the country, a problem whose consequences cannot be forseen."
Organized Salvadoran Social Movement Press Release, January 16, 2006
"The Super Strong Hand Law against gangs has been such a success, we have more than three thousand gang members in jail."
President Antonio Saca, December 20, 2005
"If... the young people... don't want to eat, then we will respect that right"
Salvadoran Ministry of the Interior, Rene Figueroa, September 2005 in reference to hundrends of prisoners on hungers strike.
"There is an unjust system that generates poverty. Poverty is one of the factors of violence, and violence tends to multiply in the world today until levels of madness... I suggest that we think of the strange coincidences these past few years; mad cows, mad persons, a mad climate, the madness of violence unleashed everywhere, impune terrorism that feasts in the world... and when I speak of terrorism, I refer to the worst terrorist attack of the past years, which was and still is the war in Iraq."
Eduardo Galeano, upon receiving Doctor Honoris Causa from the Salvadoran National University
"It is important for El Salvador to ... finish the job that we started ... of rebuilding a free Iraq."
President Antonio Saca announcing the likely decision to send a 6th contingent of Salvadoran soldiers to Iraq. January, 2006
"We must finish a job we started... There are still many questions waiting to be answered. Much thinking remains to be done. We must do it together... We must do it in the light of our faith and the social situation in our country."
Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero
"We must shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism and militarism are incapable of being conquered."
Martin Luther King Jr.
Note from Tim: There's much to think about, agree with, disagree with, in these words.