Thursday, November 02, 2006

Commemorating civil war victims on Day of the Dead

From the AP:

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador: Thousands of men, women and children who were killed or disappeared during El Salvador's 12-year civil war were remembered Thursday as part of the country's annual "Day of the Dead" celebrations.

About 200 people gathered before a mural displaying the names of approximately 26,000 civilian victims of the battle between left-wing guerrillas and the right-wing military government.

"I don't know what happened with my son and we never found his body. ... It's painful, all of this, but coming to this place consoles us," said a teary-eyed Josefa Arteaga, 71, as she stood in front of the monument to "Memory and Truth" in a capital park.

Arteaga, accompanied by her daughter, said her son Rigoberto had disappeared in June 1981 when he was 21 years old. "He left home, he didn't return and I never once saw him again," she said.(more)



LA PRENSA GRAFICA will carry a Sunday special called "Crimes against humanity" that appears to examine El Mozote. Should be interesting to see if the press, and therefore Salvadoran pop culture, is getting any closer to coming to terms with this past.

puño cerrado said...

Reading the "specials" that appeared on LPG during the time/celebration of D'aubisson's birthday where they said that the dude was a patriot, a hero and a VICTIM of a NASTY difamation campaign spearheaded by US Ambassador Robert White and the guerrillas... I can only imagine what that special is going to say. In my opinion, LPG will take the opportunity to twist reality, nothing about mending still open wounds.


Maybe it is minimized or understated, but even these modest figures detailed by ENFOQUES are startling in their magnitude. One hundred and twenty four massacres, going back as far as 1974. According to this account, one out of every ten victims of the civil war died in these isolated "crimes against humanity" perpetrated by the government side, and the newspaper admitted that this would be a "conservative figure." A massacre map shows the lobsided geographical balance of death leaning towards the guerrilla strongholds in the east, with the deadliest department being FMLN country, Morazan (2,589 massacre victims, most of them at "El Mozote"), followed by San Vicente (1,702 massacre victims, including Chencho Alas's friends at Bajo Lempa) and Chalatenango ("Rio Sumpul" country: 1,203 massacre victims). The short companion piece stated summarily that the government did not live up to its end of the bargain on the Truth Commission.