Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Concerns about a violent left

The Los Angeles Times runs an article today regarding concerns that groups on the radical left, willing to resort to violence, are surfacing in El Salvador following the violence on July 5 outside the University of El Salvador:

"We have to admit that a new revolutionary fringe is forming," said Beatrice Alamanni de Carrillo, El Salvador's ombudswoman for human rights. "It's an open secret."

A 1992 peace treaty between El Salvador's right-wing government and the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, or FMLN, brought this country's civil war to an end after more than a decade of guerrilla warfare and government-sanctioned killings and massacres. The FMLN became a legitimate party and entered politics.

But frustration with the country's lingering poverty, and the continuing political domination of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance, known as Arena, has fed a growing discontent within the ranks of the FMLN, analysts say.

"This is a very patient country where the people have not yet seen any solution to their social and economic problems," said Leonel Gomez, a political analyst here who has worked as an investigator on several U.S. congressional inquiries. "If there are no solutions, people start to yell. If you don't answer them, they yell more. If even then you don't listen to them, they will start to shoot at you." (more)

18 comments:

Samuel said...

Violente left? Please!!!!

How about the most violente country in latin america???

Doesn't that sound a little more accurate?

And what about the Right and their death squads, and all the executions happening everyday in El Salvador? isn't that violence?

Anonymous said...

The country is a time bomb waiting to explode. I have always mantained this position. Whoever believes that after the peace accords the country turned for the better is absolutely wrong. From the war this country has learned nothing, and people are desperate and discontent with the government and it's corruption and incompetence. What happened during the war was simple: an end to the military dictatorship-sponsored by the oligarchy, and simply substituted by the oligarchy itself becoming into power sponsored by terror from the USA (all their interference with the democratic process of the country) and cashing in on the populance general ignorance and SIMPLE DESIRE TO HAVE AT THE VERY LEAST A LOAF OF BREAD SO NOT TO STARVE.

If anyone has ever maintained that the country is peaceful and stable is the propagandistic ultra-right, that will never admit their shortcomings and their ill-administration of the government. So it is to my belief that one should not worry about a "violent left", because this country has always been violent (with genocidal death squads, imported "maras", etc.), and we've never learned from many years of violence, not from Anastasio Aquino, not from Farabundo Marti, and not from the recent Civil War. War and "peace" are cyclical in this country, and it will be because we never learn from our past. So you bet that people will reach one point were they won't be willing to take sh-t any longer. All of this THANKS TO THE INCOMPTENCE OF ARENA.

Right now, instead of a full-blow civil war, there is urban warfare...You can see this with the ever escalating crimes.So tell me, is this really peace?

Anonymous said...

By the way, if possible, could you either provide the general user with a USA Zip code or a full transcript of the article? Because the only way to view said article is through registration...

Tim said...

Here is the full text:

A New Rebellion in an Old Conflict

Discontent in a former leftist rebel group has fed fears of a return to civil war in El Salvador.

By Héctor Tobar and Alex Renderos, Special to The Times
August 9, 2006

SAN SALVADOR — The young men ran across the street, their faces covered with bandannas. One fired an automatic weapon, imitating the guerrilla warfare of an earlier generation.

The actions of the men, photographed at a demonstration here last month that left two police officers dead, have reverberated deeply in Salvadoran society, leading many to wonder whether the bad old days of civil war might return.

"We have to admit that a new revolutionary fringe is forming," said Beatrice Alamanni de Carrillo, El Salvador's ombudswoman for human rights. "It's an open secret."

A 1992 peace treaty between El Salvador's right-wing government and the leftist Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, or FMLN, brought this country's civil war to an end after more than a decade of guerrilla warfare and government-sanctioned killings and massacres. The FMLN became a legitimate party and entered politics.

But frustration with the country's lingering poverty, and the continuing political domination of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance, known as Arena, has fed a growing discontent within the ranks of the FMLN, analysts say.

"This is a very patient country where the people have not yet seen any solution to their social and economic problems," said Leonel Gomez, a political analyst here who has worked as an investigator on several U.S. congressional inquiries. "If there are no solutions, people start to yell. If you don't answer them, they yell more. If even then you don't listen to them, they will start to shoot at you."

The attack on police officers occurred during a student demonstration outside the National University, the scene of many violent and tragic protests during the civil war. The incident began as a peaceful protest of increases in bus fares and utility rates.

According to news and police reports, a group of radical FMLN activists known as the Limon Brigade from the San Salvador suburb of Mejicanos was responsible for the attack. Many have parents who fought and died in the civil war, sources close to the group say.

"They come from a culture of social consciousness," said one source who asked not to be named. "They live in poverty and in a community which has been packed with weapons" since a 1989 guerrilla offensive.

Photographs captured at least one young man firing an automatic weapon. Police and news reports later identified him as Jose Mario Belloso, a leader of the Limon Brigade who had held positions in the FMLN-controlled Mejicanos city government as recently as 2003. At one point, he was elected to the Mejicanos City Council.

FMLN officials said Belloso was expelled from the party last year for disobeying orders from party leaders. He remains at large.

After the incident, the FMLN issued a statement declaring its "emphatic condemnation of the use of violence."

But the same communique called on the government to "revive" the 1992 peace treaty, saying that several provisions of the agreement are no longer being enforced.

One complaint repeated often by FMLN leaders and human rights activists is that former members of right-wing death squads hold key positions in the country's police forces.

"We signed the treaty, but we've never lived the peace," said Gregorio Rosa Chavez, the auxiliary bishop of San Salvador. "Reconciliation is not just based on healing wounds, but also on healing them well…. People are losing confidence in the institutions."

The overwhelming majority of FMLN activists and supporters have not given up on Salvadoran democracy, analysts say. But the members of the Limon Brigade and other groups think the party leadership has failed to offer strong resistance to the austerity policies and anti-crime measures of the government of conservative President Tony Saca.

"The only thing we've produced after the peace accords is more crime and more hunger," Gomez said. "What these young people are saying is that they are revolutionaries."

Saca accused leftist leaders of being involved in the deadly protest and other violent demonstrations.

"If we look at the burning of buses, the blockade of streets … the takeovers of the [National] Cathedral, we can see that in all of these incidents the same people are present, and that they belong to groups linked to the FMLN," Saca told the newspaper El Diario de Hoy.

"It's necessary, for the health of our democracy, that the FMLN disassociate itself completely" from these groups.

__________________
Times staff writer Tobar reported from Mexico City and special correspondent Renderos from San Salvador.

ANTHONY said...

TO ANONYMOUS....
VERY WELL SAID, IN FACT THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I HAVE THOUGHT ALL ALONG, BUT YOU JUST SAID IT BETTER THAN ANYONE. I DO KNOW THERE IS GREAT TROUBLE IN EL SALVADOR, AND I DO THINK IT'S MOSTLY DUE TO THE INCOMPETENCE OF THE GOVT. I AM NOT A RIGHT OR LEFT AFICIONADO, NOR BUY ANY OF THEIR CRITICAL, SENSELESS RHETORIC... I BELIEVE MORE IN CAUSE AND EFFECT, IN TAKING RESPONSIBILITY AND IN MANIFEST DESTINY. I TRULY ADMIRE YOUR INSIGHT AND WOULD LIKE TO KNOW MORE OF WHAT YOU THINK ON THE SUBJECT. EMAIL ME, I'M ANTHONY AT: LONEBLACKWOLF23@YAHOO.COM
BECAUSE I THINK LEADERSHIP IS DEFINATELY NEEDED, NOW; I'M ORGANIZING A THINK-TANK THAT HOPEFULLY WILL TURN INTO AN ACTUAL ACTION PARTY...THE POLITIC I SUPPORT IS THAT OF IMMIDIATE ACTION TOWARD SOLVING THE PROBLEMS OF THE COUNTRY. I DO NOT SUPPORT THE OLIGARCHY, BUT ALSO WILL NOT DISS THEM...DEMOCRACY SHOULD BEGIN BY RESPECTING THE RIGHTS OF ALL...BUT I WILL WORK TO MAKE SURE THAT DEMOCRACY PROTECTS THE RIGHTS AND ALLOWS FOR THE EMPROVEMENT OF THE STANDARD OF LIVING OF THE NON OLIGARCHY, THE POOR,MISERABLE AND LESS FORTUNATE TO BE EXACT.

CONGRATULATIONS ON A VERY WELL EXPRESSED COMMENT.

El-Visitador said...

Stunning piece of news.

People affiliated to FMLN want to take by force that government which they cannot win at the polls.

"frustration with the country's lingering poverty, and the continuing political domination of the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance"

What would US public opinion and law enforcement do with any analogous domestic group in the U.S.?

Anonymous said...

"If we look at the burning of buses, the blockade of streets … the takeovers of the [National] Cathedral, we can see that in all of these incidents the same people are present, and that they belong to groups linked to the FMLN," Saca told the newspaper El Diario de Hoy.
--------

Alright. Tony Saca is a person filled with BS. And the media were this was taken from is extremely slanted towards the right, so I've never considered it a credible source.

But either way, addressing what the idiot said: the people that do the protests because of the crime, because of the increase of life expense, because of the lack of water on their communities, etc. etc., could or could not be ideologically attached to FMLN (with all their "power to the people" mindset), either way that is beside the point. Truth is that people would still continue to protest against the crappy way of life people carry on this country, and they would still protest against perceived transgressions that they government has commited. THAT AFTER ALL IS HOW DESPERATE PEOPLE MANIFEST THEMSELVES, ALL THROUGHOUT HISTORY. Burning buses, stones flying, sure that is extreme, and even dangerous, but put more attention on the people actually doing the things, and you'd see they are people who are unhappy, FMLN or not.

But touching more on the subject, I do believe some folks believe the FMLN has actually failed, and this IMO is pretty much linked with the supposed resurrection of the Partido Comunista of El Salvador, which even FMLN leaders dub as "crazy orthodoxs".

HODAD26 said...

first would you anonymous at least write #1 or #3 anony
but I am in total agreement with the first guy, after being here for 5 weeks not being here for 3 years and living here since 1994,
it is a time bomb and seeing all the talk and no action is is true
just came from a conference about indigenous communities and the mining and Dr. Carillo was present, but all was talk, over and over the same by some boring droning guy, we left.... lots of talk, no dirty the hands
and yes i believe it will be revolution again, all are desperate and I am a gringo in the street from National University to downtown and all over the country
as with Bush and Saca; all of the same, this country will explode
they [govt] have more restrictions now to impede logical and common sense business but make it very difficult more tramites etc.
never has been much common sense here but the people are not stupid
they want to make it more difficult for me to import food from NC cheaper [now with the horrid CAFTA, but supposedly no duty for me] and better quality and cheaper and more people can afford it. what is wrong with that?
anyway i will overcome beacuse of TLC and MY CONGESSMEN
idiots that they are;
they have to support exports of USA agricultural products
and with support from North Carolina producers
we will see what happens

but as i know from being downtown and speaking with the people, july 5th was 'la principia'as all say
[but the USA is the most violent country, however the people are too complacent,lazy, arrogant and obese to act now they got it too cushy
they will change , maybe? when gas goes to $5 and food doubles, it will be soon
i recommend all to read "The Long Emergency" it is troubling but ALL the facts are presented as far as end of oil
hey, we need to cultivate hemp here for fuel food and clothing,paper,and plastic even
see BACH website for truth, but with these arena idiots backing the same iddiotic businesses present here as in USA ;big oil; chemical pesticide and herbicide mabnufacturers; and cotton lobby etc, it will be a fight, it is about 'sentido comun', common sense and the oil from hemp seed can be used to power my poor fishermen's boats,with some changes in the motors and technology changes it can be done and for cheaper then the price of a gallon of gas, it needs to be done now, if nothing else but to help with erosion, the chinese make a type of tofu for school, kids in rural areas, 7 essential amino acids, one less than soy!
the figures are there on BACH

the whole world is connected, now by Internet as is the government services here, yes more efficient but still impediments to real services and goods being gotten into the private sector for distribution and consumption

anyway, sorry for the rant
Peace to all

Anonymous said...

In democracies you win election by fielding candidates that a majority of the the people like, and by embracing policies that offer hope for the future to a majority of voters. The FMLN hasn´t figured this out yet. Schafik had the highest negatives of any candidate running for office, but he was their man. Revolutionary groups want power. If democracy doesn´t offer them this opportunity, they turn back to what worked for them in the first place, violence. But the goal is power. And they use the poor as their pawns to incite them to blame the government for their condition so they can have more foot soldiers. But their goal isn´t to help the poor, it´s to be in power. There are a lot of poor in this country, but also a lot less than before the war. There is a prosperity coming to this country, but unfortunately very slowly and incrementally. For the campesinos who have no education and job skills, it may be a prosperity that evades them, and leaves them vulnerable to hucksters who promise them government handouts that never materialize because there is no money to do that. The left believes that governments have unlimited finances that could be given to the poor but because of greed and corruption this money goes to the fat cats. Maybe in Chavez´Venezuela this is true, but the reality is governments only have what money they can take away from working people. In El Salvador´s case that´s not much, and investing it in infrastructure as opposed to social programs in the long run will benefit everyone. But that takes time. I believe there is a huge majority of people here who want nothing more than to get on with their lives and take care of their families. But there is a minority who crave power and if they can´t get that through democracy, they´ll embrace other means.

Anonymous said...

Through "democracy". That is one of this biggest country's faults. The democratic system of this country is utterly ridiculous, it is a travesty. If anyone was here during the 2004 Presidential Elections, people would know, how even with his "orthodox" fling, Shaffick was a better suitable candidate than the bigot/radio talk host of Casaca.

The reason why Casaca won, is because on one front you have US henchmen saying how if FMLN won, there would be no renewal of TPS, the relationship between US-El Salvador would restrain, how their would be a diminish in remittances, how people would be deported, etc. ARENA, with the only thing Casaca is good at, cashed on this by practically engaging on a propaganda campaign.

On another front you had the Taiwanese henchmen, that exorted their underpaid/exploited workers to vote for ARENA for the following reasons: if FMLN won, they'd lose their "privileges" and be forced to shutdown operations, or flat out firing some workers in order to force others to vote for THEIR party, keeping DUIs, etc.

So, in my opinion, who won the elections in 2004? It was fear. By the events previously written, you can surely count on touching the very heart of the unskilled laborer, exploited laborer, the poor remittance depending person, meaning (being modest), at least 1/3 of the population. All of this without counting the fake DUIs, that Juventud ARENERA gives to some minors to vote, purchased votes, etc. So tell me, how can one call "democratic" a process where the very integrity of the vote was utterly violated?

Sure, all political parties seek power, because only in power are they capable of doing something, putting their "ideologies" into their way of government, their public projects, etc. And yes, the "opposer" may react violently when they felt they've been cheated, and frankly speaking that is what lead to the civil war (PCN rigging elections, etc.). So I see some reason as to why the opposer may act wildly, yet I do not condone the throwing of rocks. And whatever prospoerity is coming to this country, thanks to all the burocratic process that are established to shield the elite, you'd bet that as always that prosperity will end up on a limited number of hands, hence the reason why wealth in El Salvador is so disproportinately distrubuted.

And to hodad, yes I've also experienced how "burocratic" this damn system is to be able to import medicines/"foods", all the cash you have to pay, the waiting periods, the paperwork,all of this under the protections of the great CAFTA/TLC or whatever.

Anonymous said...

One more point, you may bet that stablishing some sort of socialist regime like in Venezuela would be very tough in this country, because for one, we depend on remittances, we still depend on 1-2 certain cashcrops, and we surely don't count with petrodollaers to be influencial in the region, so the socialist "regime" of FMLN could fall on it's face on due to the dependance on cash. Still I would take them any day as opposed to either PCN or ARENA.

Anonymous said...

Democracy is not perfect but it is the best shot we have. Yes there are lies and cheats to win elections ...that is done in every country of the world and it is better than having a war. We cannot afford to go back to the 80's.
...do you really think that fmln would help the country get back on it's feet ? Do you really think fmln would help the poor become less poor? if so... how? What are the methods? Remember that the governmen only has a very limited amount of resources and it is the job of president and his team to distribute this resources (money, time, energy) as best as possible. I believe (as the previous guy said) that better social programs are not answer on the long run. Remember the old saying from the bible "Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach him how fish and he'll eat forever" Social programs give the people the fish. Let's invest in infrastructure - schools, new technologies, our environment, security. Of course, there's always a trade off. The trade off here is that we have to tighten our belts for now.
We allready have the best airport, commerce, road system and highest economical growth in central america.

Anonymous said...

"Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, teach him how fish and he'll eat forever"
Yes, I do FMLN could help the country grow, or something different than actually drive the damn country to the floor, something ARENA is good at and PCN before it. And tell me, how has ARENA taught the populance how to fish? Where on this capitalist system, where income is always in circulation have you seen an adequate investment on cash? Were is the subways, were is the "updated" aqueducts, where is the train station, where are the good planned roads, where are the apartment buildings for the poor and needy? Nowhere to be seen. This government as a matter of fact has taught nothing positive to anyone. It teaches the general populace to go satisfied with having meager scrubs to endure one more day, to be happy with a slave job in their own country, and all for what? To get a fish. I believe that those "social programs" would undoubtedly benefit society more than the nothingness ARENA brings. Those social programs could be the answers to poor eduction, poor nutrition (come on, how ridiculous is to have youth die from diarrhea), erradication of analphabetism, more proactive people working for the betterment of society. Because truth is, you can have an well stablished infrastructure, but if you don't have the people equipped to do anything with it what is the use? As someone told me, when talking about Singapur and how awesome it is, "It makes the difference when you know you have a government that cares about its people rather than its pocket. The people care back for its country".


And frankly, seeing how this crap country depends so HEAVILY on remittances to keep afloat, I'd say that the country's econimic growth is artificially inflated. This country alone would barely be able to stand. Btw, just because corruption is worldwide, doesn't mean one should grow used to it. You can never condone society, and corruption so big is the kind of corruption that completely deadlocks a country to stay in poverty/desperation and civil wars. Search for El Salvador's History, you'll see a history INFESTED of social movements from unhappy people combating against injustice, and the fight seems to be perpetual. If there weren't corruption this big, then perhaps the country could concentrate elsewhere and progress.

Anonymous said...

There is a plan for 2009. All this BS from Samuel, as samuel and at the same time as "anonimo" it's what he works for. To lie, to talk and said the same thing.

left is violent!!

they are brainless how to deal with democracy, period!

Anonymous said...

Yep... Plans for 2009 is "Mano Super Mega Fuerte". Also plans for 2009 is MAYBE doing something as opposed to nothing for three past terms of failures.

Samuel said...

IM' NOT AFRAID TO SAY WHAT I BELIEVE, NEITHER I NEED TO HIDE AS ANONYMOUS. I ALWAYS POST WITH MY NAME; I HAVE A BLOG WITH MY NAME ON IT ALSO (see my profile)

I said it before, and I'll say it again: I SHIT ON THE GOVERNMENT OF ARENA; THEY DESERVE NO RESPECT!!! ME CAGO EN ARENA: NO SE MERECEN NINGUN RESPETO!!

WHY? BECAUSE ARENA GAVE ME 17 YEARS OF REASONS TO SAY THAT.

I just wanted to make that clear for this anonymous, who is saying that the person blogging as anonymous is also myself. DEAD WRONG!

I'll say this again: what about the Right and their death squads, and all the executions happening everyday in El Salvador? isn't that violence?

12 PEOPLE ARE KILLED EVERYDAY IN EL SALVADOR; YOU CALL IT BS? Maybe it is, but it is ARENA'S BULL SHIT.

And I totally agree with the anonymous from the second comment.
"The country is a time bomb waiting to explode". AMEN!

Tim said...

Tony Saca replied to the Los Angeles Times article in a letter to the editor:

Key points missed on El Salvador
August 14, 2006

I was disappointed to read "A New Rebellion in an Old Conflict" (Aug. 9). Although the report quotes the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front's condemnation of the deadly assault on police officers by armed loyalists, it neglects to point out that it came almost two weeks after the attack, and only after strong public pressure. The article also fails to mention the front's fumbling of the situation by first denying any knowledge of the shooters and later accepting their active involvement in the party.

Furthermore, the article points to the Limon Brigade as solely responsible for the attack — acting as a rogue unit of the former guerrilla group now turned political party, thereby clearing its political masters of any responsibility. And yet, everyone here knows of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front's admittedly multitiered political strategy that includes violent street action and crisis generation.

CARLOS A. ROSALES

Special Secretary to the
President of El Salvador
San Salvador, El Salvador

Anonymous said...

I have been living in El Salvador off and on since 1992. The country has improved immensly in 16 years. Any one that says no is stupid and ignorant.

I was not even one block away and saw the dead bodies of these fine men. They were men with families who loved them. How brave to shoot at a crowd of people that were unarmed. To me this killer or killers are cowards.

The problems that are happening in the country because of the gang problems can not be blamed on either political party. These gang members are criminals who terrorize the public. They are funded from extorsion and the drug trade. They are the ones responsible for so many killings.

I have friends of both political parties and I can assure you many from both are just as bad. As many people have told me it will be just a change in the account number. How is anyone going to be able to help here when there are so many children born without fathers, women with so many children that they have no way to support them. Many people refuse to work because they make more from the money that their family sends back from the States. These same people prefer to send their children out to work rather than stay in school and study.....